Compound Cruelty

By TheLostMaximoff

Disclaimer: Don't own these characters.  I would like to apologize for the self-indulgence fest that was my last two fics.  I broke my own cardinal rule and took my personal problems to work with me.

Author's Note: I rearranged Magneto's personal history for this one.  You may notice elements from the comic books are plugged in and even then they're still a little twisted around.

            My hand caresses the cold marble fondly.  I feel my eyes water slightly.  It is a strange feeling.  I haven't cried in a very, very long time.  I haven't shed a single tear since the night I buried her, my beloved wife.  My Magda, the only thing in this world I loved and she was taken from me in such a vile manner.

            My mind flashes back to that day some seventeen long years ago.  The day that haunts me even to the very moment I stand here in front of the grave of my cherished wife.  It was a day not unlike any other.  I suppose days like that day often start out very unassuming.  No one ever really knows the day that will irrevocably change them is upon them until it is already over.

            I can remember very clearly that day in that small Eastern European town where I lived with my wife and my children.  The twins were barely a year old then.  I had left for the day with errands to run while Magda and the children had remained at the house.  I don't know exactly what occurred that day but I remember coming home to the smell of smoke and a sight no one should ever see.  Our beloved home was in flames and my family was still inside.  With little regard to my own personal safety I leapt into what must only be described as the very essence of Hell itself.  I can remember the burning in my lungs and the choking from the smoke.  I can remember the intense, almost unbearable heat on my skin and hear the cries from my children.  I found the twins and managed to shelter them to safety.  I fell to my knees after delivering them to fresh air, my breathing shallow and ragged from the smoke inhalation.  The crowd that had gathered was panic-stricken.  I tried to get back to my feet to save my wife.  The crowd was too large, however.  I can remember fighting and shoving my way through those idiots to try and save my darling.  It would do no good in the end.  The only thing I could save was the corpse of my beloved wife.  I can still remember clutching her body in my arms and weeping as I stared at a face that at one time filled me with such joy but now only offered me sorrow and despair.

            I cannot say I was the same man after my wife died.  The children became unmanageable after that.  My whole life fell into complete and utter chaos.  I left the twins with the Maximoffs, gypsy friends of ours whom we had known since settling in this little village.  They promised to take care of the twins.  I never told them I had no plans of returning and they would now be the children's parents.  I never even told the children I wouldn't be back.  They were too young to understand.  I left then for America, for this land of freedom and peace I had heard so much about.  It is only now that I have learned there is no peace for me, not anywhere.

            When I next saw the twins much had changed.  I had learned of my mutant powers and was also delighted to see that my children had their own talents.  I had hope that once I brought the children with me to America after the untimely deaths of the Maximoffs we truly could begin our lives anew.  That hope, like many others in my life, was crushed.

            Wanda was powerful especially for someone so young but that power was hinged on a hair-trigger temper and an indomitable will.  Worst of all, her very face reminded me of the ghost that still haunted my dreams.  I could see in my daughter what I saw in my Magda, a fiery passion in her eyes that said she possessed a spirit that could neither be contained nor controlled.  It was the same passion that drew me to you, my love, that tore me away from Wanda.  I could no longer stand the aching in my heart every time I saw the face of my daughter because her face was a mirror in which I saw my greatest failure.  So I did what I had to do and still to this day I am not proud of what I did.

            My darling Magda.  In losing you I have lost all the joy of my life.  In burying you I have also buried my heart and my soul.  I am no longer Eric Lehnsherr, the man you loved with all your heart.  I am merely a ghost now, a specter walking wounded through the remaining days of his cold and lonely existence.

            I reaffirm the vow I made to you long ago, my love, here on this spot where a part of your spirit still slumbers.  I promise nothing grand and glorious like the future I envisioned for us and for our children.  My vow is simple but in its simplicity lies the iron resolve of a man who will not be broken again.  I vow this will never happen again.  Never again will I bury someone I love because of the heartless cruelty of a world made by humans.  Never again.

            For too long, far too long, I have watched my family die under the careless whims of humanity.  I watched, in horror, every member of my family perish under the brutality of Nazi concentration camps.  For too long I labored under the false belief that there was still an inherent good embedded in this race of butchers.  I was utterly wrong and because of this delusion I lost you, the only love of my life.  It was foolish to think that this evolutionary slime called humanity could be anything more than a heartless, uncaring genetic mistake that for too long has had control of this planet.

            I stare at this marble slab that marks where you are buried, Magda.  This piece of stone is far too insignificant for you, my love.  I shall make this world a tribute to you.  In your memory I shall carve out a better society for all.  In your memory I will create a world where your beloved children, our children, need not be afraid to breathe the fresh air and enjoy the comforts and pleasures of life.  I will create a world devoid of poverty, strife, greed, and hatred.  I will create this paradise, this heaven on Earth, as a tribute to you, my perfect angel.

            And how I do abhor the methods I must take to achieve such a vision of peace.  How I long to put aside this violence but as always any dream worth achieving must be fought for.  In the same way an artist creates a final masterpiece or a writer weaves a final fantastic tale so too must there be one final, earth-shattering, climactic war before peace can reign eternally.  I will win this war, beloved one.  I will not bow down and lick the boots of these maggots as Charles has chosen to do.  I will no longer pick at scraps like a dog.  No, I will exterminate these cockroaches like the insects they are.  Perhaps when I do I will shed a tear for this vermin of a species.  After all, you were human.  I am sorry, my dear Magda, but humanity has nothing wonderful to offer anymore.  It granted me the greatest favor when it gave me you but it made its worst, and last, mistake when it helped take you away from me forever.

"In that moment, the world lost one of its most valuable resources.  It lost the heart and soul of Eric Lehnsherr and found in its place an entity known as Magneto."- Uncanny X-Men #304