X-Men: Liberators #3

    X-Men: Liberators » X-Men: Liberators #3 - A Game Of Hide & Seek released by Marvel on January 1, 1999.

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    In Siberia,circumstances have separated Wolverine, Colossus and Nightcrawler during their visit to the area around the Ustordynski Collective. Wolverine, after succumbing to the deadly touch of the misshapen mutant Nikolas, had been taken to the military reseach camp, Province 13. The facility director, General Sergei, watches as his medical team examines the captive mutant, whose healing factor is barely keeping him alive.

    Colossus and an elderly woman, Ariana, hide in a cave overlooking the collective. He is protecting her from Russian soldiers who had come to take her into custody, but she still exhibits disdain toward him. Also, she warns him he and his allies will be captured by Sergei.

    Memories from years earlier flood her mind and she tells Colossus of the birth of her son. The child came into the world grotesquely misshapen and cursed with a death touch only his mother had been immune to. Before long, Sergei had led his officers to Ariana’s home and had taken possession of the infant.

    As she saw the Rasputin children grow up to display mutant abilities, she resented them since they had looked normal and could avoid drawing the government’s attention, unlike her taken child. Sadly, Colossus departs for the village in hopes of learning something about their current situation.

    At Province 13, Nightcrawler succeeds in teleporting into the facility. He briefly watches Sergei and Alexei, the General’s superior there for an assessment of the value of Province 13, then he telports into the playroom where the psychic girl, Nanya, and three other children play.

    Sergei leads Alexei back to his office where he gets the news from his superior: the decision has been made to shut down Province 13.

    In the playroom, Nightcrawler learns Nanya is telepathic, but none of the other children are mutants. He is about to resume his search for Wolverine, but promises the children he will return for them.

    As morning arrives, Omega Red, who has been brought back to Russia from exile, finds Ariana in the cave and accosts her. Colossus returns in time to save her and the two do battle. Soon, they are found by Nikolas. Omega Red hurls a boulder at the creature, and both Nikolas and Colossus find themselves tumbling down the mountainside. Some time later, Nikolas recovers and runs off, following the trail of Omega Red and Ariana.

    In the medical lab at Province 13, Wolverine’s condition worsens, and he flatlines. Despite the researchers’ insistance that they continue to examine his body, Sergei orders them to dispose of it, as the facility is to be closed. As they argue outside the empty lab, Nightcrawler teleports in and gathers Wolverine’s gear.

    That night, outside Province 13, the soil of a shallow grave stirs. From the ground, Wolverine’s clawed hand emerges.



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