I recommend the song “Tears Don’t Fall” by Bullet for My Valentine, since I wrote the first four chapters while listening to it.
Chapter Three: Alcatraz
San Francisco was one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in and it had cost Rogue $42 dollars for a cab ride from the airport to her hotel. She was in such a foul mood after her flight that she couldn’t stand waiting for the hotel shuttle. The TSA screeners back at JFK had made her remove her gloves when she went through security and one of them had touched her hand as they gave her back her shoes. They notified the flight crew she was a mutant and several passengers seating arrangements were changed so no one would have to sit near here. Hours later the fearful, hateful looks of her fellow passengers sitting in the rows behind her still lingered in her mind. She had sat by the window during the flight and tried desperately to sleep, only once allowing herself the luxury of succumbing to tears for a few minutes in the plane’s bathroom.
In some ways the incident with her flight was good for her. It solidified in Rogue’s mind her resolve to get to the Alcatraz facility that night. Her resolve had begun to wane as she contemplated the logistical problems in her plan only days earlier. How was she to get to the facility? Was it still guarded by the FBI as a recent crime scene? And what about the night and day construction on what was left of the mighty Golden Gate Bridge?
Rogue laughed for a full ten minutes when she found out how wrong she was. It was unbelievably easy to get to Alcatraz; the city was still offering tours of the prison building. All Rogue had had to do was drift off from the tour group and hide in the bathroom, standing on the toilet seat when the historical building was closed for the night a few hours later.
Once he could be sure that he could deflect a bullet fired at him with his magnetism, Erik knew it was time to stop being simply Erik Lensherr and become Magneto again. His feet thanked him when he began wearing his old black boots with metal in the heel again. He declined his invitation to lecture as a Holocaust survivor to a local Hillel group. Instead Magneto used a secure phone line to get a hold of Pyro, the only mutant who had returned to the island fortress after the events at Alcatraz.
He learned from the young man the dire straits the Brotherhood now faced. Without his leadership and after the crushing defeat at Alcatraz the Brotherhood was scattered and nearly dissolved, many of mutants deserting and going into hiding. Only two had jumped ship and tried to join the X-Men, but it was still a far cry from their largest roster that had once included 482 mutants. It would take a year easily to rebuild the Brotherhood to its former strength. The thought alone made Magneto tired.
The Brotherhood of Mutants was his life’s work. He had never married nor had children. Instead he had poured all his energy into the cause. He had worked tirelessly for years trying to build both his strength and the Brotherhood’s up so that they would be able to repel the violence that was sure to follow the hatred and fear that humans felt for mutants. Magneto had always been determined that this time, when they came for him, when they came for mutants, he would not go silently into submission. Mutants would fight back, they would resist, and because they were homo superior they would win. There was no alternative in his mind. He could not bear to live through the prejudice and oppression again. The memories of the first time were still crystal clear and the present U.S. sentiments resembled the past German ones far too much.
The destruction of a landmark like the Golden Gate Bridge was the type of rallying cry mutant protesters had needed to go from the far right wing of society to being a mainstream viewpoint. The media at Fox News was comparing mutants involved in the destruction of the Golden Gate Bridge to Al Qaeda terrorists. Bill O’Reilly offered free t-shirts for anyone who gave tips about the location of dangerous mutants. There were round-the-clock protests on the Mall in Washington, D.C. A little mutant girl was denied entry into Disneyworld. A school in Alabama segregated mutants into a separate facility from human students. The tide was turning against mutants and Magneto knew his time to prepare for war was disappearing quickly. More than ever he needed to rally his fellow mutants around him. But what would it take to convince his followers to believe in him again? What could restore their faith in him?
A cure for the cure.
There was still police tape around the Worthington Laboratory, but no one guarded the two-story high rubble. A Caterpillar bulldozer in one corner showed they had started to cart off the debris in barges from the island. There was still a huge area left to search and Rogue, never having seen the facility when it was running, didn’t know where to begin.
She was cautious as she slipped under the yellow tape, climbing a fallen wall to approach the only side of the building that still stood. Reaching to move inside it, she slipped as the concrete beneath her shifted. With a “humph”, she fell forward putting her arms out. Afterward, she caught her breath and checked herself for injury. Her left elbow was scrapped and her opera glove was torn where a piece of glass had caught it. She pulled her arm to close to her, cradling it against herself as she searched for the wound. The glass hadn’t cut her somehow. The glove must have protected her skin. She moved to get up and continue her search when a large, black gloved hand appeared in front of her face.
Oooh cliffhanger! Next chap we see Rogue confront Magneto. I know you all can’t wait, because neither can I. Go to Chapter 4