Magneto

The Master of Magnetism. That is how the world knows me. The man who can bend steel and iron to his will. It is a truthful description, but not the most comprehensive one. My sensitivity to the magnetic spectrum of reality also acts as a sixth sense. This sense allows me to identify the magnetic alignment of every atom within a person.

magneto

What I have found is that Mutant bodies carry a distinct magnetic signature that is far more powerful than the signature carried by ordinary humans. I had been traveling through New York when I had sensed such a signature emanating from a particular location. The signature had been tremendously powerful, even by mutant standards. My curiosity had gotten the better of me, and I had set out to investigate the source of this magnetic signature.

I flew over the city to the source of the signature and discovered a cultural event of some sort taking place on the streets of New York beneath me. There were banners and advertisements, and innumerable stalls and platforms littered the sides of the street. There were plenty of discreet, shadowy spaces for me to land without anyone detecting my presence. I pulled a hoodie over my head and stepped out from behind the shadows to join the mass of humanity on the streets.

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The signature was strong now. Very strong. But try as I might, I could not locate its exact point of origin. A very strange and unexpected experience for me. I felt disoriented in a way I had never felt before, as though my internal compass had begun to spin wildly in all directions, leaving me without a sense of the path I needed to follow.

I had no plan of action now except to move around the street and try to get my bearings. Ordinary humans milled around me, unaware that the man the president of the country had once described as the most dangerous person on the planet was in their midst. To one side, some teenagers scribbled on sketchpads while a man inspected their work and took notes. As I watched, one of the youngsters crumpled up a piece of paper he had been drawing on and threw it on the ground in frustration.

On another side of the street, a crowd had gathered around a platform where a singer softly crooned some nameless song. A shopping frenzy seemed to have erupted further down the street, and huge crowds were battling over various wares being sold at stalls dotting the sides of the street.

I closed my eyes in frustration. Why was I unable to sense the mutant who had brought me here? This had never happened before. A noise to my left startled me, and I opened my eyes to see a woman scolding her young child.

“Bad boy, Leroy!” The woman hissed fiercely. “Don’t throw your burger on the street. Why did you want me to buy it if you weren’t going to eat it?”

“I want ice cream!” The child wailed, trying to drag his mother to an ice cream vendor’s cart. “I don’t wan’ burger! Wan’ ice cream!”

I left behind the wailing brat and his mother and walked down to the very end of the street where the stalls ended and the rest of New York began. Here my sixth sense regained its clarity and again pointed me back to the heart of the street I had left behind.

My eyes narrowed. There was something strange afoot here. I felt a growing sense of urgency to uncover the truth behind this seemingly ordinary part of New York that had defeated even my powers.

Once again I traveled back up the street, keeping a closer eye than ever on what went on around me. I reached the spot where I had first landed and stood to stare around me, unsure of my next step.

Near me, a drawing event of some sort was going on, and I saw a youngster crumple up a ball of paper he had been drawing on and throw it on the ground in frustration.

Nearby, a crowd had gathered around a platform where a singer softly crooned a song. A shopping frenzy further down the street had attracted crowds of people who were battling over wares being sold at various stalls.

My steps slowed down as the scene played out in front of me. I knew what was coming next, and sure enough, the noise to my left was that of a mother was scolding her young child.

“Bad boy, Leroy!” She hissed. “Don’t throw your burger on the street. Why did you want me to buy it if you weren’t going to eat it?”

“I want ice cream!” The child wailed, trying to drag his mother to an ice cream vendor’s cart. “I don’t wan’ burger! Wan’ ice cream!”

And suddenly, I had realized the true nature of the disturbance. The entire street I was standing on was caught in a time loop. The same events played themselves out over and over again. That was why my sixth sense was in disarray. The magnetic field in this region was in flux, and out of sync with the rest of the city.

My sensitivity to the magnetic spectrum granted me immunity to the effects of the loop. Now that I knew the cause of the problem, I could refine my powers to adapt to this curious situation. I narrowed my powers to detect the one point on this street which would have remained unaffected by the circumstances of the time loop.

My steps took me to the area where the drawing competition was being held, to the young man who had previously flung away the piece of paper in frustration, and now begun work on another one.

“Greetings, my friend.” I stared at the young man whose head was still bent over his work. “You seem very busy.”

“I am.” The young man did not raise his head. “I really need to come up with something different for this contest.”

“What contest are you participating in?” I asked. My senses did not deceive me. This young man was the source of the time loop.

“It’s a contest by Soul Purpose.” His hands flew busily over the drawing board. “They want us to come up with some pictures of superheroes to put on their shirts and shoes. They’re going to use part of the money from the event to fund an art center I attend. Everyone else is drawing superheroes, so I thought I’d go with a supervillain. I’m trying to draw Magneto.”

“I see.” I bent to examine his work. The boy was indeed drawing my face on the piece of paper. An odd coincidence, but one I could take advantage of.

“Only it’s so tough.” The boy spoke again. “I don’t know how to show his powers. I can’t show him bending a car or anything; there’s no space. I need to show him doing something with his powers. I’ve got his look down alright.”

“To be honest, my eyebrows are not quite so thick.”

The boy stopped drawing, and slowly looked up at me. Alarm and fear mixed with blank shock on his face.

“You…You’re Magneto.”

“Indeed.” I opened my palm, and some loose change scattered on the street flew on to the top of my hand and lay hovering there, revolving slowly like planets around the sun. “And what I have found is that it is often the smaller ways you manage your power that exhibit your mastery, not something large and elementary like bending a steel car. What is your name?”

“M… Micheal.”

“Well, Michael, there is no need to fear me. I know you also have powers like mine.”

The color drained from Michael’s face. “Please don’t tell anyone, Mr. Magneto. They’ll call me a freak.”

“You are not a freak, Michael, you are a god among ants. Never be ashamed of your abilities. And do not fear me either. I am here to help you.” I smiled reassuringly and placed my hand on his arm. As the anxiety on Michael’s face disappeared, I felt the magnetic lines around the street return to normal, and the time loop ended.

I rose to my feet. “It was interesting meeting you, Michael. We shall meet again soon.” I turned away from the youth, who sat staring at me. Trying to grow our relationship too quickly too fast would be a mistake that could ultimately prevent him trusting me.

A curious case, this, I mused as I walked away. Michael was an immensely powerful mutant. Capable of altering space and time simply out of frustration at not creating a good drawing. The boy needs training. But I will not allow Charles to induct this youngster into his school. I will continue to interact with Micheal regularly over time. I will become his mentor, someone he looks up to rather than fears. I will teach him to control his powers. In time, Michael will become a powerful ally for my cause, on par with Jean Grey. This is the start of a significant new alliance.

For tonight, however, I merely hope Michael does not make my eyebrows too bushy.

 

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