By Adrian Tullberg.
The guard stabilised his hand, and fired.
The dart flew across the room towards the back of the most dangerous mutant alive.
However, one of the freed prisoners immediately threw herself between Magneto and the dart.
As the scientists assured the guard, the chemical load worked instantly, her skin virtually boiling as it reverted from freakish blue to a normal pink.
However this was scant comfort when one of the other mutants raised his hand, and a sea of fire engulfed his entire being.
Magneto stared at the changing figure in front of him – not her typical fluid metamorphosis, but a galvanic eruption as her power was stripped from her.
"You saved me ..."
He knelt by the shivering woman before him, taking off his cape. The roasting smell behind him was a sign that Pyro was finally doing his job.
"Stay calm. We'll get you out of here."
The newly brown eyes were staring at her arms and the rest of her exposed body, fingers twitching , pinching, probing at this new flesh.
Magneto looked around, and found the weapon that did this to her, picking it up.
In all the time he'd known her, she never looked this frightened.
"I have a sample of the chemical now. I … me and the others, we can create a vaccine now, an antidote. We..."
"Help me Eric."
"I will, I promise. I just need some time..."
Then he realised just exactly what she wanted.
"I ... I can't."
Despite what had been done to her, she could still make him do whatever she wanted.
Magneto's expression harded, silently nodding. He leaned forward, kissing her softly on the forehead.
Standing, he strode out of the trailer, a gesture making the others flock around him like gulls.
When the little group reached the treeline, Magneto stopped, then waved his hand, not looking behind.
With a horrific screech, the trailer collapsed.
Pyro stared as the whole structure imploded, an accordion-like condensing as the trailer compressed itself into a four foot cube in less than twenty seconds.
Pyro looked back at his leader, who was leaning on a tree for support. Kind of a worry, cause he'd seen Magneto do a lot more without breaking a sweat. The others were looking a bit worried as well. Not a good impression to give the new recruits.
"She ... she was the first to believe in me. My vision, not Charles'."
Pyro had heard Magneto's stories of how he grew up in the Concentration Camps. Now, for the first time, he looked that old.
"They... they stole that from her John ... she was worth a hundred ... a..."
Magneto stopped, then slowly straightened. Pyro gave an internal sigh of relief when he saw the old steel in his boss' expression.
"One thousand of them Pyro. See to it when we get back to base."
Magneto led the group to the helicopter he'd borrowed and landed a quarter mile away.
Where the remains of the trailer rested, a small puddle of blood was slowly growing.