Chapter summary: The American Civil War is coming up. But first, Lyall has got to enrol.

Notes: I just finished The Wolverine, X-Men: First Class and Origins: Wolverine and damn as it messed with my plot line. Oh yes, have I mentioned how Origins: Wolverine starts off differently. Plus, Victor's and Logan's relationship is much, much different but let's just leave it to how its Lyall not Logan.

Please note I am an Aussie, so either a) tell me if I spell it American/British (I learn spelling off Ao3 and ) or b) don't annoy me about spelling it wrong.

PLEASE ALSO NOTE: I have no clue how the army was run at any time. I'm going off my assumptions and ideas. Great if you could help me. Just don't flame me for having it all wrong.

The weird thing about movie clichés is that in some way or another, they're real. You know how the characters get smashed by these foes that for a weird or wacky reason leave them alive. So they toddle off on this huge training period – sometimes it's a year, 18 months or even 2 years. So yes, Victor's and I's took much longer than I initially thought it would.

Victor grunts, snarling at the shredded tree stump. There's deep gauges, some at least longer than an adult's hand, some shorter. I sigh, calling my half-brother over for some lunch. He complies, eyes lighting up.

We've been living in the middle of nowhere for countless of years. There are trees, trees, bushes, animals, trees and more animals. Patches of water appear every 5 minutes in every direction, all of them cleverly hidden by foliage. Slowly Victor and I have come to terms about our mutation; he thinks we're the only ones out there in this vast and lonely world. I know different but keep quiet.

Since Victor can't control his strength even about 7 years later, my hair has grown much longer. There aren't any mirrors out here. There's a twist in it – much like the original Wolverine, it looks like I have ears hidden by my hair.

"I give up." Victor snaps, glaring at his viscous and extensive nails. "Can we leave?" he narrows his eyes, his body leaning forward. He expects me to say no again – I have no clue why I have the last word when he has the last move, but that's the habit we've fallen into.

"Okay," Victor nearly falls over in shock "Where to sour patch?"

He thinks it over. Obviously he didn't think I would say yes for a very long time.

"…America." He finally decides, heaving himself up. We smile at each other and start down the beaten track to the nearest town.

The town didn't have a name that I knew of, but everyone there seemed to be cool with us hanging around. It probably had to do something with us bringing in the game when they claim it was too cold. As we move around in town, selling the odds and ends of our collects of stuff we've gathered over the years, we sometimes slip that we're moving away – permanently. The town's men and woman shrug and bid us goodbye.

The best thing being half-wolf/animal is that our speed, endurance and senses were all extremely boosted. Victor and I can run through a forest much faster an Olympic champion can even vaguely dream of achieving. Our reaction time and processing information is far beyond I can comprehend, so I'm still surprised that we can dodge around startled forest wildlife and sudden branches everywhere like nobody's business. Victor and I cover a normally 2 week hike to the nearest train station under one.

The tickets are expensive to everyone else but us. The villagers paid us every now and then with real money, and since we don't need it, it's piled up in the bottom of our bags. There's almost no one but us, the train conductor and an ancient lady.

It's a silent travel except for the rattling of the train over the tracks and the huff and puff of the engine as the conductor shovels coal into it. The lady stares out the window with almost closed eyes and purse clutched in a death grip. I soon fall asleep on Victor's shoulder.

A screeching sound eases me out of my light sleep smoothly. I blink at the moon hanging low upon the deepening sky, and struggle out of my seat. We're off that train and onto a much more crowded one in half-an-hour. There are no seats so Victor grips me with one arm, the other steadying us. I lean my forehead against his strong chest, my arms snaking around his waist. My muscles don't scream at me for standing for hours like Amy's would.

It was different, I guess, jumping from my slightly demented body to an elderly one to a baby to a sickly one and then finally to this stronger than ever body. I can feel my brain thinking faster and my body replying to my demands stronger than ever, the healing factor kicking in almost every hour. I hit 20 three years ago but it feels like I've never aged a day again. That'll probably be because of the healing factor – it viewed old age (destruction of cells, organs slowly dying) as a disease, and as a result, I couldn't age. Neither could Victor.

It took us numerous trains, 5 ships and a heck load of walking to arrive at the boarders of America. Usually, you'd be tired as heck, feet sore and back aching, but I was energised. America. Even through this was my second life, I never stepped foot outside of Australia, Japan, Europe and surrounding countries that one time Amy's family went on a trip over there.

I'd always read about America. The Avengers, Percy Jackson, Harry Potter (wait that was in London. Amy visited Diagon Ally once) were always stationed everywhere but Australia. Amy had asked her mum why nobody cared about Australia but to laugh at their accent even through nobody but the old, old farts used 'fair dinkum' and 'G day' in their conversations. Mum said it was because Australia didn't have any impact for anybody and was out of the way.

Amy didn't want to visit America in her time – pollution thickened the skies back then, even long after it was solved. I didn't need to worry about that; the healing factor was more than enough to battle the acid in the air.

Instead of the skyscrapers that would appear in 150ish years, and the anti-gravity-and-pollution pods (AGAPs) dotting the heavens everywhere in 200 years, there's squatting, dirty, grey buildings marching down stiff lanes with a finger's width gap between them all. The residents look extremely tired, dirt smudges covering them and frail bodies. And that's only the medium sized towns that housed the train stations into America.

"So what do you want to do?" I ask Victor. He's handling this like I'd expect him to; he'd shocked that anyone would even want to live here. Victor watches the shrinking town as we made ourselves comfortable again on a train, silently digging his claws into the seats. I could hear the soft rips as the fabric tore apart.

"The army," he says suddenly, drawing a stray string from the stitching "they'll have something for us to do."

"Well, I'll better get used to acting like a male, soldier." I smirk, giving him a salute. Victor rolls his eyes.

"You'll get into the army, somehow or another." He claims "Weather it would be silently or kicking butts to do so." I knew I couldn't fake my gender - unlike how Marvel, DC or any anime/manga likes to portray their female characters, I do not, heaven forbid, have D cups. In fact, I barely have B cups. They're small, but not enough to cover up. Plus, my face was too feminine to consider.

"I like the kicking butt's option better." I tell Victor, falling asleep on his shoulder like normal.


"How's it going?" Victor asks as he packs his bag, ready for the army. I'd just returned from another attempt to get it, and like we both predicted, they refused. I flip him off, a symbol apparently still not a widely known sign. He gives me a questioning glance but returns to shoving his stuff into the small bag messily.

"Guess I'll have to go with plan D." I sigh, growling like a wolf at the thought. Victor didn't know what plan D entailed, which I was thankful of. "Where you going?"

"Sergeant Victor Logan leaving by 1200 tomorrow." He barks out a dog-like laugh, and gave me a heart-warming hug. No more words were exchanged.

Long after Victor had left aboard, I trudged through the 1855 version of New York City. Woman tittered over my apparently too short pants, which came up to my knees. I even think not wearing a dress is bad enough. Men blushed and sneered at my choice of dressing, police eyeing me wearily. It had taken me at least two more physical fights with the police for them to be convinced I was not to be taken to those 'you're a chick dress and act like one' mental hospitals.

It was at times like these I cursed my healing factor – much like Captain America, no matter how much alcohol I drink, the end of time would arrive sooner than me getting stoned. Here at JJ's Ber Bar (an 'e' was missing from beer) there was always a line-up of dudes trying to drink me under the table. The manager, JJ himself, was a stereotypical bartender who has a dirty rag hanging from his belt whenever it's not cleaning a mucky glass, a long beard complete with squinty eyes, and your beers magically appearing in front of you, watching you with uninterested eyes. He didn't care how I dressed or how many I order as long as I pay.

Beside me is another regular, Kyren. Big beefy legs but slightly skinner arms topped off with low cheekbones and combed brown hair was his most noticeable features as he slouched in the stool next to me. He didn't know what he was going to do for life. There wasn't any family business or farm to continue, his dad made sure of that, and all the chances of jobs were scooped up by people long dead.

"Hey," he sighs, flicking the rusty bug in front of him. Kyren's head lies sideways on his bludging hands, looking uncomfortable as it feels like. "Was that your 20th try today?" The glass rang as Kyren lightly tapped the glass.

"27th." JJ corrected, furiously trying to get the decades-dirty glass clean.

"Here's to my 28th try." I laugh dryly as I throw back another beer. Kyren groaned and gave me a look.

"Why do you even bother Lyall?" he says and I stay silent. He knew I wouldn't explain anything, experience born from the last few months, and didn't push. I knew why – Wolverine was famous for surviving through many wars. Not only did this entertain him through the years, but it bred incredible instincts and fighting skills.

"You should try for the army." I nudge him after another mug vanished down my throat. Kyren visualised his disgust for the mere thought of it, but his protests died in his throat when I shot him a look.

"How are you going to get into the army Lyall?" he grumbles, finally sitting up yet still slouched. "Every base can see you're a girl."

"Sneak in and secretly train them until they admit to my awesomeness?" I grin wolfishly at the thought. I wave my hand at JJ and in seconds my mug was refilled without me actually seeing it. I swear some people have the most random skills out there. Here in an almost black-market pub, I shouldn't be so surprised.

"Good luck." Kyren's face was all I needed to see to figure out what he thought about plan D. He then high-tails it out of there hoping to not get involved, but 12 hours later I've tracked him down and dragged him along with my plans.

We're hidden in the meagre bushes that are left around here, squatting opposite from the closest army base from New York City. Kyren has asked me innumerable times why I hauled him along, but all he got in return was shut up and shhh!

"Find any weaknesses in the watch. Just look and observe. Don't just see." Finally I tell him, creeping closer to the marching line of men.


"Never mind, Sherlock reference."

"I'm not going to bother." Kyren sighs, hazel eyes squinting towards the base. The heat is not as abusive as outback Australia, but the ceaseless demonic sun squeezes the breath out of your already feeble lungs. The merge shade provided is scarcely helpful – scattered bushes (that is basically a bunch of twigs and petite brown leaves) and dystopian-style desert skeleton trees are all that I can see through the heat waves shimmering in the air.

Several hours later I've seen quite a few holes in the defence, however that's to be expected. It is 1855 after all. Once Kyren and I crawl off to our holes to sleep for the night, I stay awake, staring out the feeble window, if it could be called that. Forests full of greenery and life had vanished long ago, generating space for the millions to come. Broad navy skies painted the background, puny stars cloistered in patches, and the powerful moon was thankfully familiar after 200 years in the past – the stars were too blinding, too many, too alien. An icy breeze curled around the stumpy buildings, too weak and broken to do anything but to fiddle with long hair.

Its several minutes before the tears stop and I slip into Morpheus' arms.

I miss mum.

I miss dad.

I miss sis.

I miss Victor.


It takes us an embarrassing 3 days to pick out a definite loophole. That day was grey all over, from the skies, to our mood and to the colour of the army's clothes. Kyren was voiceless as we ducked behind a building's corner – in front of us there's a patrol man stalking his way to the admin, where the head worked.

Shadowing this guy was entertainingly easy. Even Kyren, whom not pursued an abundancy of animals for food three times a day for over 15 years, could almost hit two pans together and not attract his attention. We dropped off his trail as soon as we could see an open window, which was, in two seconds flat. The window was for a storage room, and by the dust gathering on the floor, hadn't been used in donkey's years.

However footsteps frequently paced the hallway outside and they only ceased when lunch rolled around. I peeked out from the door and observed the silent hall.

To my absolute horror the head's work place was clearly labelled on the door and directions every few feet. I slowly twisted the door knob, leaning my ear against the bumpy surface – nothing. Either he's aware someone's coming in or he's not there.

I throw open the door and was relieved that the chair was empty, but I cast my trained eyes around the room. Hand-drawn maps of America, both Yankee and Rebs (the enemy side was pitifully empty), made up the more, colourful decorations of the brown walls. On the other hand, ancient drawings of the training grounds and various army men slotted around the floor-to-ceiling maps, completing the decorations.

"Hide." I hiss at Kyren and he stands right behind the door, on the opposite side to where it opens up. I sit the chair both legs over one arm and my back crookedly slouched over the other. Electric yet elegant footsteps were muffed by the colossal door with sophisticated engravings. It swung open, joints not squeaking due to frequent oiling.

I waved obnoxiously at the frozen man, shiny badge present on his chest.

"Are you the head of this place?" I question, delighted at his jumpy reaction. He nodded, obviously pale at the thought of a woman in an army base.

"W-w-what do you want?" he stammered, and I smirked mysteriously.

"I want to join the army," I say brightly. His eyes bludged out, and his lips, far too big to consider normal, open to protest. The knife I had in my hand bit into the shoddy bureau, cueing a draining of the head's blood in his face. "And I will."

It takes several tense seconds before the head's will is back in his grasp. He drew up from his cowering, shivering form to a suspiciously-obese form. His belt nested right over where I guess his belly button would be, the uniform stretching to its limits over his stomach, gluttony (well, for this time period) well displayed.

"I think not. Why don't you go back home to your sowing, and, train to be a good wife." He snapped back, an egoistic snarl present on his ruby red chubby like it was the main attraction of a fashion show. I give him a low glare and flick my eyes to Kyren, single eye peeking out to watch the horror show. He swings the heavy door shut behind the head, which jumped at the slight bag of the door shutting behind him.

"I suggest doing what she asks, sir." He tagged the honorific as an after-though, his thoughts on it clearly revealed on his face. "However, if we have to do this the hard way…"

Kyren palmed a pocketknife, slid it around the fat neck of the guy and held it there. The head gave a strangled shout, sausage-fingers frantically grasping at the air around it. I slink around the desk, coming to stand 5 inches from his face.

"Please, sir, let me stay. You can keep me a secret from your superiors and I can train your men if they permit it." My voice must have been poisonous, eating away at his will, because he gave a few short nods.

Kyren thankfully kept the blade snug against his throat.

"OKAY! Okay I'll let you stay! Do what you want – just leave me out of it!" he almost cried. My nose wrinkled when I was met with a rather unwelcome smell from his pants. We must have scared him good.

We vanish with a final glare at the man.


It's official.

I am the un-official Colonel of Base 3.

Kyren didn't join, much to my disappointment and later relief. In about 1 year, all men had their arses handed to them whenever they'd question my presence. In return, many respected me, and so came to me with their problems as Colonel Stark (no kidding) was a shitty boss, who would rather choose inventing the latest and greatest weapon over the men he was supposed to be whipping up into shape.

Colonel Stark, that fat man I had to threaten to safely live in the base, had for an unknown reason to become my fan, and eventually. Half the reason why this happened was because I seemed to always be unimpressed with his rifles no matter how much he tries to make them shoot faster, shoot further and more powerful. The other reason was because I was hot. Oh, sorry, that would be 'beautiful.'

(I always had a problem with using correct, approved-for-this-time, words. Finally I gave up and the soldiers got used to me spewing shit like 'yo' and 'wazzup' - sometimes they would figure out what they meant.)

Currently its 1862 and I wish I could've studied the American Civil War far more. Bah - who was I kidding? I was an Aussie living in Japan. America didn't interest me beyond the newsflashes I'd occasionally get. At least I'll understand who the hell are the Yankees and Rebs now. Men are falling left right and centre, Colonel Stark hasn't stepped foot outside his somehow flashy and rich invention hut at the back of the boundaries, so it left his job to me.

"Ma'am, the messenger from base 1 has arrived." Turning I face the nervous, sweaty teenager, hands clenching too fast for it to be unimportant. "It's, uh, the head of Defence." The thick wooden walls muffled the sound of my hand smashing it in a fit of outrage. "He says it's a surprise inspection to see if the soldiers are up to Shenandoah Valley."

Shenandoah Valley - that was a place nearby Gettysburg, the famous battle wasn't it? One of the perks of record-breaking healing is perfect memory, even ones I forgot beforehand. Amazing for memorizing battle plans and hand-to-hand fighting techniques, not so good when the guys walk around naked. The reason I've not been discovered by the higher ups is because we'd always usher Stark to the office and he'd play head for a while until they're gone. Today, it was too late; I could see Stark talking to an unknown man.

Alex, the poor messenger guy, took in my silence and frown with his usual reaction: expect someone's going to get punished. To his surprise and my slight pleasure, I nodded my head and sent the order for him to be let in. Not even fifteen minutes later a stumpy, sharp faced man stalked in, wearing boots up to his knees and a moustache out of a French town.

"Where is Howlett? Colonel Stark has explained that the base's order falls to him." he demanded, narrowing his eyes at my feminine body.

"You are looking right at her, sir." I say quietly, fighting to not say 'sexist pig.' Not a good idea when you want to be on his good side. "Please, take a seat." The guest seat was far different from what Stark had before - instead of a lightly plush seat it now has, Stark had nothing installed for important guests. The head expressed his pleasure of this improvement as he relaxed into it.

"Ma'am," he gritted out, eyeing the maps that were peppered with colourful markings, several far better than they were before "may I ask why you're sitting in Colonel Stark's seat."

"Why, sir, didn't you see the state it was in five years ago? Please remember how horrible and poorly trained the men here were. Ever since I've straightened shit out, this place has been churning out stars and heroes. Jonny Alierh? My doing. Gay Woanf? Also me. Throw a good soldier's name at me and I guarantee I've trained him." I say quietly, short and straight to the point. Spoken words were never my thing - action is my language.

The man (never bothered to learn his name as they always change in every year or so) narrowed his eyes and mulled it over. I really, really hope this guy would bend easily. Politics and diplomacy was and always will be my number one weak point. His rough, calloused hands ran through his hair several times. If he was seriously considering letting me stay here than wow, base 3 was in a much worse state than I believed.

"What are you... skilled in?" he tentatively asked, biting his lip in disgust as I grinned feral.

"Everything but sitting down and talking." I boast, standing up. "Would you like to see?"