Brilliant streaks of fire cracked open the roiling grey expanse of the sky as an icy drizzle began to beat into the earth, soaking the smooth stone walls surrounding the building. Magneto's fingers tapped unconsciously on his knee, out of rhythm with the rain drumming on the roof of the sleek black car he took shelter in, as he scanned the open file in front of him. At last, with a 'snap', he closed the folder, tucking it inside his jacket and opened the door of the vehicle, unfolding an umbrella as he stepped into the tempest.
"Stay here," he said shortly to the driver before shutting the passenger door and turning to gaze up at the massive structure in front of him. With a calm expression that did not betray his inner uneasiness, he promptly strode up to the entrance gate, his feet making a hard 'slap' each time they connected with the slippery pavement.
Having been forewarned of his coming, the guard gave him a brief nod and allowed him entrance. Once inside the lobby of the building, he was greeted by a short, middle aged doctor clothed in a long white coat.
"Ah, you must be Mr. Lenscherr," the man simpered with an unintentionally unpleasant smile, his yellow teeth somehow managing to gleam in the weak light of the room. "We have been expecting you. Right this way, sir." The balding man turned and hurried down a lengthy corridor.
Magneto followed him, his face set in a practiced mask of blankness. On either side of the hall were thick steel doors, each with a little slot at the top through which one could look if the cover were drawn away. Moans, shrieks, and angry yells sounded from behind most of them. Some, on the other hand, were eerily silent. The colorless walls of the asylum dimmed into a kind of dull off white under the muted lighting, serving only to add to the dreariness of the place. Magneto frowned faintly to himself in distaste but said nothing as he was led hastily through the labyrinth of identical, tunnel like passages until his guide finally halted without warning in front of one of the doors.
It was located at the far end of an otherwise deserted hallway. No other cells were in the near vicinity, leaving the mysterious occupant on the other side of the metal barrier to sink into her own quiet hell.
The doctor fished around in his coat pocket for a moment before withdrawing a card with a quick snap of his wrist. Moving up to the door, he slid the plastic key forward into a small electronic slot. A loud 'beep' sounded as the room was unlocked.
"I must warn you, she's a bit….off…one of those…," the man said with a swift darting glance at Magneto. "Mutant scum ruining decent peoples' lives...and some nutcases in the government would have you believe that we could live in peace with the monsters." He made a disgusted noise. "Rotten, the whole lot of them," he added.
Magneto surveyed him coldly. "Indeed?" he asked in a bored tone laced with just the faintest hint of contempt as his wintry eyes scrutinized the man who seemed to grow uncomfortable under his gaze and swiftly turned to tug the door open, stepping out of the way as he did so.
Silently, the Master of Magnetism stepped through the doorway into the shadowy cell beyond. A tiny barred window was cut into the stone wall near the ceiling in one corner of the room, casting a feeble, unnatural glow on the grimy concrete floor. Shoved against the wall underneath the hole was a rickety metal cot with a thin, tattered mattress resting on top. No other furniture decorated the minute, claustrophobic space.
Eyes narrowed and body tense, the man slowly surveyed the cell, his piercing gaze quickly falling on the obscure outline of someone sitting in the darkest corner of the room. Cautiously, he started to take another step, this time in the direction of the figure, but the young woman began to chuckle softly, causing him to pause. From the blackness, a dark haired woman in her early twenties with icy blue eyes to match his slowly stood and moved toward him.
"Fancy seeing you here," she murmured, the corners of her mouth still twitching in a bit of insane laughter.
"How have you been?" he asked quietly, his expression unaltered.
She simply grinned strangely, not answering him for a moment. "I've been better," she said softly at last, her eyes darting between him and the doctor. Her hands twitched at her sides, clenching and unclenching as she spoke. "Why are you here?"
"I've…come to take you home," he answered after a brief hesitation.
"Home?" she repeated mirthlessly, all traces of her former smile absent. "So it is true." She turned away from him, tilting her head up toward the faint light streaming through the window, her eyes closed and a hint of pain in her features.
"I would have come for you sooner….had I known your location," he added by means of an explanation.
She didn't answer him, but her body went rigid, her jaw tight. Out of the corner of his eye, he glanced around the room as the walls began to shake. Behind him, he heard the doctor start to move forward, but he held up his hand for him to stop.
"I can help you," he stated simply. "I can help you get what you want…."
She opened her eyes and turned to look at him. Despite himself, he felt slightly unsettled. Her eyes were hard, full of rage and agony that brought to mind memories he would rather stay repressed.
"Let me help you," he said quietly.