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In the Shadows part 1
"Time and Again"

by Chip Caroon


Editor's Note: This story takes place before Uncanny X-Men #1.

New York City - 1943. America has been at war for a year and a half. The rest of the world was fighting two years before that. But the cops of the NYPD have been fighting a different kind of war.

Every member of the police force was a part of the war on crime. But they were not alone. Helping them was the greatest detective-hero of all, The Shadow!

Currently it was night, and The Shadow was trailing a gang of drug dealers. They were casually walking down the streets of the dark city. The Shadow was right behind them, although they didn't know it, for he was using his special skills to cloud the dealers minds so they could not see him.

The group of four turned into a dark alley. The Shadow followed, watching. Three of the dealers appeared to be Chinese. The fourth, and youngest looked American. It appeared that the dealers were dividing up the "goods."

"Okay, guys," one of them said. He looked slightly older and meaner than the rest. Maybe he was the leader. "You know where to sell. Joey, you stay here and wait for the big man."

The youngest of the group nodded his head. He couldn't have been more than twenty.

"Let's go!" the leader said. Then, three of them left, each going in a different direction. Joey looked around. He finally found a box in the corner and sat down.

The Shadow weighed his options. Should he go after one of the other three and see who the buyers are? Or should he stay and find out who the "big guy", the possible supplier, is? After a minute, he decided. No choice, really. Only one option. The Shadow waited another minute to make his next move, so as to use maximum effect.

"Joey!" he said, after Joey appeared comfortable, half asleep.

Joey sat up straight, looking around. "Huh?! Who said that?"

The Shadow laughed. "I did, Joey."

"Who are you? Where are you? I can't see you!"

"No man sees The Shadow."

"The Shadow!" Joey half-shouted, standing up. "I've read 'bout you! You the guy that can't be seen. A guy can only hear your voice!"

The Shadow changed topics. He needed the information fast. "Your friends left you, Joey."

"Th-they'll be back."

"Will they, Joey?"

"They gotta come back. I'm meeting the big guy. They need what he has!"

"Are you sure?"

"Wh-whacha mean?"

"What if meeting the big guy means death? Your friends sure left in a hurry."

"They had to make . . . transactions. They needed to do it fast, or the buyer would leave!" With that, Joey felt the pocket on his coat. The gun was still there. He began trying to determine where The Shadow was.

"Who is the 'big guy'?" The Shadow asked, fully aware of Joey's plan.

"I dunno. That's supplied on a need-to-know basis. And I don't need to know!" Joey began to shout. "Not yet!" He reached in his pocket, pulling out the gun. He checked to make sure it was loaded. It was.

The Shadow, knowing this beforehand began to move silently. He could tell that a car was approaching. He assumed it was "the big guy." He had two choices, keep out of the line of fire by moving behind Joey, or maneuver himself to take out the supplier.

"Well, Shadow," Joey said. "What are you gonna do now? I can follow your voice."

"Joey, do you want to live?"

"Yeah," Joey said, his voice starting to sound shaky.

"Then put the gun away before the "big guy" gets here, unless you want to explain why you're shouting at an empty alley."

Joey nodded his head and put the gun back in his pocket.

"Good. Now get back in the corner."

Joey sat back down on his box as a man began to walk down the alley. He kept himself hidden in the shadows, so even The Shadow couldn't see him. Two other men, dressed in plain black suits followed.

The man was of a normal build, about six feet tall. The Shadow could tell that he was wearing a suit. He was unable to discern its color, however, since the man remained in the shadows. When he began to speak, he spoke it a deep voice.

"Joey, that is your name?" the man asked.

Joey looked up. "Yes, sir."

"You have something for me."

"Yes, sir."

The man stared back at Joey for a minute. "Well, are you going to give it to me, or will I have to get it myself?"

Joey tensed up, and The Shadow concluded from his reaction that the man meant death. Joey reached into his coat, pulled a package from an inside pocket. It was wrapped in brown paper. The man ripped the paper off and examined the contents. He held up a small vial and shook it slightly. His lips formed a smile. He put the vial back, and picked up several items that looked like dog tags to The Shadow. But something seemed strange. This man didn't seem like a typical drug dealer. Something else seemed strange. The Shadow had suspected that because the other three were Chinese, that they were selling opium, but neither the vial nor the tags looked like opium.

The man put the tags, or whatever they were back into the package, turned and walked began walking out of the alley. Before he reached the end, he turned back to the men who accompanied him and said, "Finish him."

Before the men had a chance to react, The Shadow spoke. "You don't want to do that."

The man turned around. "Who said that?"

The Shadow laughed. "I did."

"It's The Shadow, man! He tried to bust me!" Joey shouted.

"The Shadow, eh?" the man said. "Finish him too, boys."

The two men began to open fire while the "big guy" made his escape. The Shadow tried to follow him, but Joey anticipated the move and pulled his gun out quickly and fired where he thought The Shadow's foot might be. His hit was good, and The Shadow fell to the ground. The men heard that and began to fire at the site of the noise. By then, though, The Shadow had already jumped up to the fire escape about him, careful not to make too much noise.

The men, not seeing blood, nor hearing yelling, ceased firing and turned back to Joey. "Time's up, kid," one said before firing.

"No!" The Shadow yelled, as he jumped down from the fire escape, landing on the two gunmen, rendering them unconscious. He looked at Joey, who had blood rushing out of more openings than he could count. The Shadow didn't want to admit it, but there was no hope for Joey.

"I'm . . . sorry," Joey whispered. "You were . . . right." Joey began coughing for a few seconds. "Please, . . . stop him. Do it for . . . me." With that, Joey leaned his head back, and within a few seconds, was dead. The Shadow stood up. Suddenly, he heard a groan behind him. The Shadow turned around.

In a corner of the alley that everyone had ignored lay a man, dressed in a tan and brown costume. He appeared to be short. The man tried to stand up.

The Shadow ran over and tried to help the man up.

"Are you hurt?" The Shadow asked.

The man looked up. His hair was in an unusual style. It came to two points; one on each side of his head. "Who are you?" he asked in a gruff voice, looking straight at The Shadow.

This startled The Shadow. "Can you see me?" he asked.

"No. I can smell ya."

Sirens were blaring in the distance. The Shadow turned back to the man. "I am The Shadow. Can you walk?"

"Yeah, gemme a minute." The man grabbed The Shadow's shoulder and stood up.

"You should climb up the fire escape until the police leave. Stay on the roof. I'll come for you when it is safe," The Shadow said.

"Sure thing. By the way, people call me Wolverine," the man said as he jumped up on the ladder.

"You seem fine for someone who seemed so injured before."

"Called a healing factor, bub."

All this time, the sirens were getting louder and closer. As The Shadow turned to face the alley's opening, the sirens finally reached the alley. He could see two squad cars pull up. The drivers of each jumped out, but one jumped back in to radio. The officer in the passenger side of the first car jumped out, and the two officers ran in.

"Aw, man," the first said, looking at Joey. "This kid was wasted."

"His name is Joey," The Shadow said.

"The Shadow? Is that you?" the second officer asked.

"Yes. These two men were ordered to kill Joey," The Shadow said, pointing to the two gunmen.

"By who?" the first officer asked.

"I do not know the name of the man, nor can I give you a physical description, for he stayed so far in the shadows, that not even I could see him." With that, The Shadow turned and left. The officers were able to tell that he left, based on footsteps.


The Shadow walked around the block, searching for a way to get back to Wolverine. After about ten minutes of searching, The Shadow finally found another fire escape that seemed to lead to the roof of the same building. He climbed up.

Sure enough, he had found the right fire escape. He saw Wolverine crouched, watching the police working under him. The Shadow approached silently.

"Ya finally made it up," Wolverine said, quietly.

The Shadow was startled at first, but then remembered what Wolverine had said about his sense of smell.

"So, Shadow, any place we c'n go, so I can find out where I am and why I'm here?" Wolverine asked.

"Yes," The Shadow replied. "I have an apartment that I use for emergencies nearby. We shall go there."

Wolverine stood up and gestured to the fire escape that The Shadow had just come up. "After you."

"Very well," The Shadow said, turning and beginning to walk to the fire escape.

"One small favor?" Wolverine asked.

"Yes?" The Shadow asked, turning his head back to see Wolverine.

"Could ya turn visible, so I can see where we're goin'?"

"I suppose I could do so. I have enough on to conceal my real identity."

In an instant, Wolverine could see The Shadow, but no one else could.


The two heroes arrived at an apartment in a modest neighborhood. Wolverine figured that the neighborhood was home to many middle-class families. The apartment owned by The Shadow had to be a cover, for he didn't seem the type to live here.

It was still night, but seemed to Wolverine, it seemed as if the sky was getting lighter. He knew it was because of the increase in street lights, but he couldn't help but marvel at the optical illusion.

The Shadow walked up to the door of the building and inserted a key into the lock. The whole building looked different than the rest. Wolverine figured that The Shadow owned the entire building, so his secrets wouldn't be found out. While Wolverine was studying the neighborhood, The Shadow had gotten in.

"Wolverine!" he called.

Wolverine, who had been looking at a nearby building, turned his head and walked into the building. When he was inside, he saw a flight of stairs. He looked to his left and saw a calender. It looked like it was kept up. The pages were still white, and if it was as old as it should have been, then the pages should have started to yellow years ago. Wolverine then realized that something had to be wrong. The date on the calender was 1943.

"Do we go up?" he asked.

"Yes," said The Shadow.

They walked up two flights of stairs and entered a small room. It had a hardwood floor. The walls were white, but mostly undecorated. On the side opposite where Wolverine stood, was a window looking out on the city. There was a mantle and fireplace on the far left of the room. In the middle of the room, there sat a chair, a desk, and a sofa. The Shadow walked over to the chair and sat down. Wolverine sat on the sofa. The Shadow was writing something on the desk, while Wolverine looked around.

"Nice place you have here, bub," he said.

"Thanks," said The Shadow, still working.

"So, are we goin' to swap stories? I assume we're goin' t' be partners for a while," Wolverine said.

The Shadow looked up sharply. "Why do you think that?"

"'Cause I'm stranded in the past, and yer the only one that can help me!"

"You come from the future?" The Shadow asked.

"If yer calender downstairs is right," Wolverine replied.

"It is. The year is 1943."

"Then I'm stranded here."

"How long have you been in this time?"

"Well, I was lying in that alley before th' druggies came in."

"So, you heard everything that went on?"

"Yup," said Wolverine. He paused for a moment, as if to think what to say next. "I kept quiet, 'cause I knew that as soon as I said somethin', your whole deal would fall through. By th' way, where in th' world am I?"

"You are in New York City," The Shadow said, then paused. After looking at the paper he had been writing on, he asked, "How did you get from the future to this time?"

"Dunno. Last thing I remember was being on a spaceship."

"Space ship?" The Shadow exclaimed. Even though this seemed outrageous, The Shadow kept listening, only because these events were mirrored in Wolverine's thoughts. "Continue," he said, after a moment's pause.

"Yeah, hard ta believe, huh? Ya see, I had been transported t' a planet far away with th' X-Men."

"The X-Men?"

"Oh, sorry. Th' X-Men is team I work with. They, I mean we, are a group o' mutants."

"Mutants?"

"I keep forgettin' that this stuff ain't happened yet," Wolverine explained. "A mutant is a person with a special x-factor in their genes. Most o' us have special powers."

"What are your powers?" The Shadow asked.

"I have the enhanced sense of smell ya already know 'bout. I also have an accelerated healing factor that repairs all my injuries. An' I also have these," Wolverine said as he popped out a set of three bone claws from the back of his right hand.

"Those look . . . dangerous," The Shadow said. He knew he had to stay on this man's good side. He didn't want to end up as Shadow shish kabob. "Anyway, please continue with your story."

"Let's see, where was I? Oh, yes. Anyway, the X-Men had been transported t' an alien planet from several years in our past. I think that it is still in the future for you, though. We had just witnessed the planet's destruction, an' were onboard a space ship headed home*."

*(these events occurred in X-Men #89-90 and Uncanny X-Men #370)

"I assume you live on Earth," The Shadow interrupted.

"Ya," Wolverine replied. "T' kill the time that we needed t' get home, we put ourselves in suspended animation and set th' auto-pilot t' take th' long way home. When we arrived home, we found that we came back early. About a week early.* We were hit by somethin' an' next thin' I know, I'm wakin' up in an alley."

*(X-Men #90)

The Shadow looked down at his notes again.

"So how long have ya been tracking those druggies?" Wolverine asked.

"I have been tracking various members of the group for about two months. But tonight was the first time I had seen the supplier," The Shadow replied.

"Ya know, I don't think that the drugs are really what th' guy is about. As I was lyin' there, I was pickin' up all o' yer scents. The supplier as you call him seemed familiar."

"You mean he might be from your time?"

"No. Some o' th' villians I've faced have been around for a while. The two main possibilities are that the guy is a relative o' someone I know, or he is a younger version."

The Shadow was writing all of this down. He was almost finished when Wolverine asked a bombshell question.

"Now that I tol' ya my story, are ya gonna tell me yers?"

The Shadow tensed up. No one, aside from a couple of trusted friends knew the secret identity of The Shadow. Could he find a way to get around his secret identity? Or could he trust this man, Wolverine, with his most guarded secret?


In The Shadows part 2
"Something Sinister This Way Comes"
Chow Yin was walking back to the alley where he had left Joey earlier that night. He was hoping that Joey was all right. He didn't want to leave him alone, but the big guy said to. Chow Yin, being the leader of his little group had to follow the orders.

As he approached, he could see the police cars several blocks before he reached the alley.

"Oh, no!" Chow Yin thought. "Joey!"

Chow knew that Joey was dead. It was how the big guy operated. He used you until he had no further purpose.

Chow Yin turned and ran as far away as he could. He knew if he approached, the police would somehow find out that he was elsewhere, selling opium to the highest bidder.

But he still couldn't shake the feeling that opium was what the operation was about. It had to be a cover. That's why the big guy hired Chinese boys. "He must think that because we are Chinese ourselves, then we can get the opium easier," Chow Yin thought as he ran through the streets of New York City. He had to find the other boys, so they could plan their next move.

Working for the guy was not a good thing anymore. Even though they could get all the drugs they wanted, they didn't like the risks.


The Shadow sat in his apartment, trying to find the best way to answer Wolverine's question.

"Did I put ya in a compromising position?" Wolverine asked. "I'm sorry. I understand that ya probably have a secret ID to keep guarded. Don't worry. Your secret will be safe with me."

The Shadow shook his head. "Yes, you did place me in an uncomfortable position." The Shadow paused for a moment. "Since you are from another time, and you seem like the type to keep your word, I guess I can tell you. But, only after you tell me who you really are."

"Fair 'nough," Wolverine said. "My real name is Logan. I don't know my first name. I've led many different lives, most o' 'em as a government agent. A few years ago, my time, still a few years away f'r you, I was an agent of Weapon X.

"Weapon X is where I got Adamantium bonded t' my skeleton. Adamantium is the strongest metal on Earth. Anyway, I also got injected with false memories, so I don't know when or where I was born, nor most o' my past."

"Do you have a counterpart in this time?"

"I should be in Europe."

"I see," The Shadow said. He put down the pen he had been writing with and looked at Logan. "Since you told me about you, I shall tell you about me. I am in reality Lamont Cranston. Some call me a 'wealthy young man about town'. I just use that guise to get the information that The Shadow uses. I have special mental powers. I can cloud anyone's mind so they can't see me. I also read minds."

"Yer a telepathic, eh?"

"Excuse me?"

"Ya have telepathy. That means you can read minds."

"Ah, of course."

"That's why I'm still here. My thoughts mirrored my words."

"Yes. It is."

Both men were silent for a while, each wondering what to do next. Logan was the first to do something. He stood up and walked to the window and looked out. "So, what do we do now?" he asked.

"I, as Lamont Cranston, will go see Commissioner Weston in the morning to learn what the police know about the incident tonight," The Shadow answered.

"And me?"

"You will stay here until I contact you."

"Hey, bub, I'm not the type of guy to just sit around and do nothin'," Logan said, spinning around and pointing a finger at The Shadow.

"Logan, there is nothing to do! You can't search for the supplier, because we have no leads. You can't go with me, because Weston will get curious."

"I see yer point. I'm sorry."

"No problem," The Shadow rested his chin between his thumb and forefinger, as if deep in thought. A minute later, he spoke. "There is one thing, you can do. Tomorrow night, we will go to the dealers' headquarters."

"Ya think we can find something out there?" Logan asked, walking back to the middle of the room.

"It's our only lead."


Wolverine spent the night at The Shadow's apartment, while The Shadow returned to Lamont Cranston's residence to stay.

The next morning, about ten, Lamont met his female companion Margo Lane for a late breakfast and then drove to the police station.

"So, Lamont," Margo asked Lamont, who was driving. "What are you going to be bugging the commissioner about today?"

"I do not bug the commissioner," Lamont said.

"Well, I think his job is difficult as it is without a wealthy young man and his female companion coming in to try to solve a crime," Margo said with a smile.

Lamont smiled. "But that 'wealthy young man' happens to be The Shadow."

"Weston doesn't know that."

"But you and I do."

"Oh, Lamont," Margo said, in a playful tone.

At that moment they pulled up to police headquarters.

"Here we are, Margo," Lamont said, as he turned the car off. "Let's discover the mystery of the day."


INTERLUDE

Somewhere . . .

To some he is the "big guy." To others he is the supplier. Whoever he is, he is evil.

He is standing in a dark lab, looking at the contents of the package he received the night before.

First, he slides what appears to be a dog tag into a special device with a viewing screen. Several patterns and words come up. He takes the first one out and replaces it with a second. This process continues for about ten minutes; take one tag out, put another in.

After he is done with that, he picks up the vial and looks at it. He decides that it is good. He then opens the vial and places a drop of its contents on a slide, which he looks at under a microscope.

As the slide comes into focus, the man is happy.

"Yes!" he says. "At last! I have found it!"

END INTERLUDE
In a warehouse on the east side of Manhattan, facing the water, Chow Yin called a meeting of his little group.

For now, the three Chinese boys were the only people in the warehouse. They knew that that would change come nightfall. This was the warehouse that all of the opium was processed. This was the warehouse that the boss conducted his really dirty business.

"Thanks for coming, guys," Chow Yin said to his two partners. "I found out that Joey was killed last night."

"By the big guy?" one of the druggies asked. He was also Chinese, about twenty-one years old, with black hair and black eyes, standing about six feet tall. His partner sitting beside him was the same age, with black hair and brown eyes, standing five-foot-ten.

"Yes, Song Chen," Chow replied. "I now believe that the big guy, whoever he is has gone too far. His opium ring is a cover. There's something bigger here than simple drugs."

"What can we do?" the second dealer, Fen Chan asked.

"Well, this warehouse seems to be pretty important. Something could accidently happen."

"Explosion?" Song Chen asked.

"No," Chow Yin said. "An explosion would just bring cops. That could ruin the whole thing. No, we want to send him a message. Then, I just think it might be time for us to leave the city for a little while."


Lamont Cranston and Margo Lane walked into the office of Commissioner Weston. As they walked in, they saw Weston was on the phone. When he saw them come in, Weston waved hello and gestured for them to take a seat. Lamont and Margo seated themselves in the chairs in front of Weston's desk.

Within a minute, Weston's phone conversation was completed. Weston put the phone down and looked at his guests.

"Cranston," he said. "What can I do for you?"

"Well, Commissioner Weston, I was just wondering what the NYPD was up to," Lamont replied.

"To tell you the truth, we were a little busy last night. Some kid was killed in an alley last night."

Lamont and Margo pretended to be shocked, since they both knew what happened the night before.

Lamont shook his head. "Was it drug related?" he asked.

"Why, however did you guess?!" Weston exclaimed, somewhat surprised that Cranston would know these things.

"I've heard of a lot of drug use and gangs recently," Lamont replied. "It just made sense that this case would be a result of drugs." As he was saying this, he thought, "I know because I was there as The Shadow, but you'll never know that."

"It's awful," Margo said. "It's so awful that people will kill others over something as stupid as drugs."

"I know, Miss Lane," Weston replied. "But, according to what we found out, it was the supplier who ordered the kid to be killed."

"Now, why in the world would a supplier order one of his own to be killed?" Lamont asked.

"I don't know," said Weston. "Maybe he knew too much."

"Do you know who the supplier was?" Margo asked.

"No. He stayed in the darkness, that not even The Shadow could discern his identity!"

"The Shadow!" Margo exclaimed.

"He even baffled The Shadow?" Lamont asked, feigning bewilderment.

"Yes, he did at that," Weston answered. "The Shadow said that the man stayed so far in the shadows, that even he couldn't see the man's face."

"Really!" Margo said. "Maybe the man had no face!"

Lamont shot Margo a look which meant "Stop your foolishness!"

Commissioner Weston smiled. "Maybe, but I don't think he would waste his talents on drugs, when he could use them to make more money in the movie business."

"Well, Commissioner, thank you for your time," Lamont said, standing up. "Come on, Margo. We should let the Commissioner get back to work."


Lamont dropped Margo off at her house and then drove to his apartment where Wolverine had spent the night. After he got out of the car, he walked over and opened the trunk. He pulled out his Shadow outfit, closed the trunk, and walked into the building. As he walked into the third floor room where he brought Logan the night before, he was greeting by Wolverine, who was no longer in his tan and brown uniform.

Wolverine now stood in the middle of the room in a uniform that was a similar style of the tan and brown, but blue replaced the brown and black replaced the tan.

"You've been busy," Lamont said.

"All I did was dye my uniform," Logan replied.

"Why?"

"Blue and black is harder t' see at night. I figure we'll be doin' our work at night, right?" Wolverine asked.

Lamont walked over to his desk and put the Shadow gear down. "Yes," he said. "We will be working at night. Tonight we will go to the warehouse that the dealers use."

"Did the Commissioner tell you anything?" Logan asked.

"Nothing that The Shadow didn't know. However Margo did come up with an outrageous theory that the man had no face."

"Could be possible," Wolverine said.


Six o'clock. Most people were home from work at that time. But for a group of people who chose to operate on the wrong side of the law, the work day has just begun.

The warehouse on Manhattan's east side was now coming to life. Several tons of opium were expected to be produced that night. However, as the workers came in, they found that the warehouse was in shambles. Equipment was torn up, boxes were scattered, and unprocessed opium was spilled all over the floor.

As the workers came in, they murmured among themselves. The general idea of their thoughts were "Who did this?" followed by "Had to be someone on the inside. No one else knows where we operate."

High above all of the workers, The Shadow and Wolverine were hiding on a catwalk. No one was able to see them. The Shadow was using his cloak of invisibility, while Wolverine was relying on stealth. His uniform was doing its job well. The Shadow was carrying a small shortwave radio, so he could call Margo for backup.

"Who ya think trashed this place?" Wolverine whispered.

"It had to be someone who isn't happy with the business," The Shadow replied.

"Inside job?"

"Possibly."

"Could it have been Joey's friends? The ones you've been tailin'?"

The Shadow hesitated. "I don't know. It's possible. They could have a motive."

"But it all depends on what their relationship t' Joey was. Business partner, fall guy, true friend?"

"Or maybe they didn't know what the 'big guy' was going to do. I doubt that maybe people in this organization have met the supplier/boss, whatever he is."

"Th' main man."

The Shadow smiled. "That's one way of putting it."

The two men stopped talking and looked back down at the workers coming in. Most of the people entering were Chinese men, but some were American.

Wolverine looked at where The Shadow was. "Why d'ya think they use so many Chinese men?"

"Probably to pay less, but get more work in return. Maybe the boss thinks they can get the opium easier."

"I still can't shake th' feeling that this is a cover operation for somethin' else."

"I have that feeling too."

Wolverine changed subjects. "How far back do ya think they'll get?"

The Shadow looked around. "Maybe a day. However long it takes them to clean up."

Wolverine looked around the upper part of the building. "I've been in these situations before, and I know that there has t' be a control room somewhere around here. Y'know, a place that the boss can sit and watch."

"I know, Wolverine, but I don't see one yet."

Wolverine continued to look around. He saw the far end of the warehouse. Something looked odd about the wall.

"Hey, Shadow, come here. I think I see it," he whispered.

The Shadow moved to where Wolverine was. "Where?"

Wolverine pointed to the place in the wall. "Straight ahead. See how the wall looked different. I bet there's a secret room back there."

"If we crawl around the catwalk, we can get around to it. You can't let anyone inside see you."

"I know, I know. But why d'ya need t' crawl?"

"They might hear my footsteps."

Both heroes laid down on the catwalk and began to crawl around to the odd spot on the wall. Halfway there, Wolverine's boot got caught. He tried to get it out, but when he finally got it out, it made a small crashing sound.

"What's that?" someone down below shouted.

"It's probably just some rats!" another man shouted. "Get back to work!"

Wolverine breathed a sigh of relief. He started crawling again.

Ten minutes later, Wolverine and The Shadow had crawled around the catwalk. Wolverine slid closer to the wall to examine it. He saw a crack. He followed the crack with his eyes up and around the wall. He turned to where The Shadow's scent was coming from.

"It looks like it comes out."

"Why would they have a moving control room?"

"Mebbe they don't. Mebbe it's just a fake panel in the wall that they remove so they can hide it." Wolverine paused. "But that brings up the question: What's hidden in the control room?"

Suddenly, they heard gears start to move. Wolverine began to crawl back into the corner behind boxes to watch. The panel that Wolverine had just examined rose up and disappeared into the ceiling. From his vantage point, he could see inside the control room. It was just like he pictured it, a metal room with a glass window. Then, he saw who was in it and his expression changed to shock, as he saw who was in the control room.

The man inside was very pale looking and had a slim, nicely trimmed black mustache. His hair was jet black and he had a strange black diamond on his forehead. He was wearing a red and blue outfit with a blue cape.

"What is it, Wolverine?" The Shadow asked.

"Ya know how we've been sayin' that the opium in a cover?"

"Yes."

"We were right. That man in there, th' boss, don't care about drugs. All he cares about is genetics, specifically, the x-factor."

The Shadow remembered the conversation the night before. "You mean the special gene that gives you your mutant powers?"

"That's the one," Wolverine said. "His only goal in life is to create the perfect mutant!"

"Well, who is he?" The Shadow asked.

Wolverine's face changed from showing shock to showing anger. His eyes narrowed into slits and he gritted his teeth as he revealed the man's identity to The Shadow. "Sinister," he said. "Mr. Sinister."


To be concluded!