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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13


Written by Karen Bruce
Last updated: 01/02/2007 02:01:11 AM

Chapter 1

To keep on holding up this ideal civilisation

must be excruciating: unless you stiffen into metal

when it is easier to stand stock rigid than to move.

That is why I tug at them, individually, with my arm

round their waist.

The human pillars.

They are not stronger than I am, blind Samson.

The house sways.

I shall be so glad when it comes down.

I am so tired of the limitations of their Infinite.

I am so sick of the pretensions of their spirit.

I am so weary of their pale-face importance. [1]

Magneto's eyes traced the swollen sky - tense, expectant, weighed down with rain. Above him, the clouds swirled and clotted, forming grotesqueries. Their insubstantial eyes watched him, before bleeding into new horrors. The humid air moved heavily through his open window, pressing him down, filling his lungs with liquid concrete until he could . . . no . . . longer . . . . Scowling at his treacherous imagination, he closed the window and returned to the fire that burnt in his hearth. Even it seemed sullen, weak flames providing him with little warmth and less cheer. With a pang, he remembered the campfires of the Romany people that burnt on the bleak, Polish plains in the middle of jewel-like caravans. Remembered the whickering of a horse, soft nose brushing his hand as he fed it a scrumped apple. Remembered the complicated, intricate songs that uplifted and healed. Remembered the dancing, the laughter, the love. The cold citadel suddenly seemed like a prison to him - iron, order and stone, the foundations of his new world. He reached for the brandy decanter and adding a measure to a cut, crystal glass. It was icy against his lips, burning as it slid down his throat, providing no real warmth.


He started, instantly suspicious, magnetic shield flaring. The guards were meant to keep people out of his private quarters. Why had they been remiss in this respect? A slip of a girl stood in the dimly-lit doorway, dressed in a green outfit that made her look like a lily. For an instant, he thought it was a ghost, coming dancing from the fields of childhood, before recognising her as Mystique's daughter. He had seen her with Raven when she had come before to try to strike a deal with him. Her skills for the use of certain technologies in his possession. He curved his lip contemptously - did she really think a two-bit terrorist had anything to offer the Master of the Electromagnetic Fire? Naturally, he had had her escorted out of his citadel unceremoniously and her ship seen off with suitable laserfire as well. Was she going to use her daughter this time as a human bargaining-chip? How low had she sunk?


She stepped into the firelight and he could see that the girl was a woman. That she was very lovely with a grave face and ancient, mossy eyes. Once, passing through Warsaw, he had seen eyes like that on a beggar once,

polished by hardship and knowledge into two chips of jade.

"Ain't a child," her smile was knowing, "As ya'll soon find out."

Unsettled, Magnus matched his smirk to her one, intending to humor the girl before having her ejected from his chambers, hoping to discover what Raven's true agenda was, "Really? How do you intend to prove it?"

The grin remaining on her face, she slipped a plastic gun from a holster at her hip, aimed it between his eyes and depressed the trigger. A energy beam sliced the air, melting the plastic of the weapon, splitting molecules. In

the split-second between shot and impact, before the world ceased to exist, he knew.

See if I don't bring you down, and all your high opinion.

And all your ponderous roofed-in erection of right and wrong,

Your particular heavens,

With a smash.

See if I don't move under a dark and nude, vast heaven

When your world is in ruins, under your fallen skies.

Caryatids, pale-faces.

See if I am not Lord of the dark and moving hosts

Before I die. [2]


* [1] and [2] are both quotations from D.H Lawrence's 'The Revolutionary'. Obviously, their inclusion in the story means no claim of ownership on my part.

* I personally think Magneto could be killed in this manner. He seems to believe that his associates will never betray him - a la Cortez - no matter how poorly he treats them so a sneaky attack would work. I think. You can

disagree. :)

* Oh, I better add now that there is no romance in this story. If you expect Rogue and Gambit to get together, think again. It's strictly Tom and Jerry stuff between them in this one. :) As for continuity, um, yes, in a quantum

universe, it is possible that this fits some reality's continuity, because it tends to ignore the comics in this one. :)


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