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Volume 4 -- Supreme Reflections -- Wanda Maximoff

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Wanda Maximoff
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Wanda’s Reflections (AN: Takes place after issue 96)

I am often described by others as a daddy’s girl. I’m not entirely sure what that term entails. I don’t know if it’s some American slang I don’t yet understand or if it’s meant to be an insult. If it simply implies that I am too much like my father, then I suppose that would be insulting. Magneto’s track record as of late has made him someone that few would want to be associated with in any way. Most mutants have the luxury of distancing themselves from this man. They can play the ignorance card and claim they never went along with his plans to begin with. I do not have that luxury. Magneto is my father and I am his daughter. As such, I’m trapped under his shadows and stuck with his burdens.

Wanda Maximoff had once again been crowned as the de-facto ruler of Genosha. Magneto had left, disappearing without a trace in wake of the Warlock affair. Having already tainted his legacy and his credibility with the Cambrian fiasco, he saw fit to take an impromptu vacation of sorts. For many, it was good riddance. For Wanda, it was another mess that she was obligated to clean up.

In the freshly rebuilt citadel (courtesy of Warlock), Wanda secluded herself in the throne room. It looked exactly as it had before the Cambrian destroyed it. Everything was in place, bearing the distinct metallic style her father employed in every environment he created for himself. It was often cold and callous, a fitting reflection of the complicated man that had done so much to thrust the world into chaos. Staring at the throne her father once sat in, Wanda tensed through a vast breadth of bitter emotions.

I never asked for this responsibility, nor do I welcome it for a second time. It seems I’m always left cleaning up the messes wrought by my family. It seems I’m the only one equipped to do so since Pietro is a study in perpetual immaturity and Lorna is just a teenage girl still developing her own identity. That doesn’t mean I’m equipped to handle such a task. I’ve never seen myself as a leader or a visionary. I’ve always been a mere follower, fighting for a cause that I believed to be for the benefit of myself and all our fellow mutants.

No matter how I see myself, I’ve never been completely together as they say. My life purpose has always been chaotic, which I suppose is fitting given the nature of my powers. I can reach out and touch chaos with my being and guide it to a certain outcome, no matter how unlikely that outcome may be. Yet it’s the chaos I can’t control that leaves me the most frustrated. To make it worse, I rarely had anyone to lean on for support. I’ve had to hold it together on my own. Sometimes I wonder if I would be stronger if I had still had a mother figure in my life to guide me.

It is tragic how I lost that opportunity before I even had a chance to do something about it. My biological mother was dead shortly after I was born. My father rarely talks about her. I sense this is because it’s so difficult and he doesn’t like to show weakness of any kind. I don’t see it as weak to show that you’re capable of loving someone so deeply, but given how my mother was taken from us I can’t entirely blame my father for being so dispassionate about it. If I had been there I may very well have ended up the same way.

My father didn’t spare me the details. He told me and Pietro at a young age that our mother was horribly murdered by a pack of so-called rebel soldier who for whatever reason saw fit to raze a town to ashes. She and my father had been traveling with Charles Xavier through the Balkans, looking to make a positive impact on war torn areas of the world. My father was more interested in studying human conflict, but he had a less pessimistic view at the time. I attribute that to my mother’s influence. While Magneto never says it, I can tell he really loved her and that she brought out in him a sense of vulnerability. I suppose that vulnerability was taken full advantage of when those soldiers attacked because by murdering my mother, they sent my father down a very dark path.

It may very well have been worse if Pietro and I had perished as well. Our mother had been pregnant at the time of the attack. She was badly wounded, but she held on long enough to get to a remote hospital where she could give birth. As soon as Pietro and I entered the world, Madga Maximoff left and took with her any hope of a peaceful life for myself and the rest of our family.

More conflicted feelings consumed the young woman. It was a daunting notion on the surface, having known nothing but conflict since the moment she was born. There was never a time in Wanda Maximoff’s life when she wasn’t part of this chaos. It was hard to blame her mother for everything. It was also hard to feel the same anguish her father endured because she didn’t get a chance to know her mother. If she had then perhaps she would feel different about how Magneto brought her and Pietro into his world.

The real irony is that no matter how hard I try, I cannot contemplate any other life than the one I have known. From the moment I’ve been able to form coherent memories, my father has been preparing me and my brother for conflict. It was not the most affectionate form of parenting. Yet at no point did I doubt that Magneto loved us. Even now I know he believed he was doing what was best for us.

However, in raising us like this we were kept isolated from the rest of the corrupt world that Magneto so despised. For the first few years of my life, he raised me and my brother in some remote area of the Balkans. I don’t have many memories of what it was like, but I do remember that it was a harsh environment that required me and my brother to be strong. We had to brave cold, hunger, and discomfort of all kinds. This was Magneto’s way of getting us ready for the world we were destined to oppose.

Then when I was about five, he moved me and Pietro to this secluded town in Switzerland. It was here where we would do the most of our growing up. Magneto entrusted us to the only relative my mother had, her sister Marya Maximoff. She was a lot different than Magneto in the sense she was more gentle and affectionate. That didn’t mean she was weak though. She was more of a hermit who had a very cynical view on the outside world. One of her favorite sayings was that humanity is going to destroy the world sooner or later. If we can’t stop it, we might as well sit back and enjoy the fireworks.

I’m not sure if her pessimism was a result of being anti-social by nature, but I do believe the death of her sister played a part. I could tell at a young age that she was deeply scarred by her loss. As such, she took to raising us as if Pietro and I were her own children. My father claimed he had some planning to do and needed us to be safe while he put everything together. Marya listened to him and I get the sense she knew to some extent what he was up to. It essentially made my role in this mess an inevitability.

Even if that was the case, I certainly wasn’t aware enough to prepare myself for it. I just lived my life day-to-day. Life in Switzerland was pretty basic. Pietro and I spent most of our time in Marya’s secluded cabin. She home schooled us from a young age and we rarely ventured into the nearby down that was just a few miles from the house. When we did we were always instructed to not associate with anybody. I listened and obeyed while my brother was a lot more obnoxious. For most of my childhood he provided most of my entertainment and frustration. He adopted Marya’s cynicism, but not her discipline. She always said he would grow out of it, but I’m still waiting for that to happen.

Over the years this secluded life was all we knew. It was hard and arduous. We had to cook our own food, chop our own firewood, and maintain our own home. Nothing was ever given to us. We had to earn it. Most wouldn’t call that a normal upbringing. Most wouldn’t call it extraordinary either. But there was one minor detail that set my life apart from that of most every other human.

Marya Maximoff was not a mutant, but she wasn’t completely human either. My mother was the same way. They had something that set themselves apart from humanity…something unique that could not fit into a normal society. When I was eight Marya told me all about it. She revealed that my mother was a traveling mystic. She was very talented in the mystic arts and she often used those arts to make a difference. She would travel to war zones and heal the sick and dying. Sometimes she would also use those powers to curse the aggressors. There was this one story Marya told me about involving a soldier responsible for raping numerous women during the warpath. When my mother found him, she put a curse on him that caused him to become blind, impotent, and paralyzed. It was harsh, but that was how she made a difference.

After learning these secrets, Marya revealed that she too was talented in the mystic arts. In fact, many Maximoffs throughout history were mystically inclined. She claimed to be nowhere near as skilled as my mother, but she still pulled off some pretty impressive feats. Instead of watching television, Marya would treat me and Pietro to these mystical demonstrations. Pietro wasn’t always that thrilled, but this power fascinated me. It made me want to learn more. It seemed appropriate that I would carry on my mother’s legacy as a mystic. However, my father had other ideas.

Wanda looked down at her hands and concentrated. In a brilliant display of reddish purple light, she formed two balls of hexing energy. This energy bore some resemblance to the mystical feats she saw Marya perform, but hers were not mystical in nature. They were a product of her mutation. This was what would be the driving force in her life. Her powers were her world. Even though she had come to accept that, it was not her choice to be part of this world. That decision was made for her by Magneto.

Over the years, Magneto paid regular visits to me and Marya. During that time he strongly discouraged me from learning too much about the mystic arts. He said I had another destiny ahead of me. I didn’t understand it and me being the immature child I was, I often argued with him. But he was my father and I was his daughter. I still instinctively trusted his authority. There was nothing I could do to change what happened.

It all came together during one special visit he made shortly after Pietro and I turned 15. It was in the middle of this nasty winter storm when he came barging in unexpectedly an hour before midnight. He had with him this weird looking machine that seemed like a cross between a toaster oven and a bomb. It didn’t look like anything I had ever seen before. Hell, it didn’t even look man-made. It could have been alien for all I know and after this whole Shi’ar debacle, it probably was.

Wherever this machine came from, my father was very excited about it. He said it would unlock our mutant potential. Seeing as how Pietro and I were the product of a high level mutant and a mystic, it was almost a given we would have powers of a certain level. We expected it to happen naturally like it did with all mutants, but that wasn’t soon enough for Magneto. He needed us to manifest our powers now and like the obedient children we were, we listened to him.

At the stroke of midnight he sat us down in the living room in front of a roaring fire. He then placed this machine between me and Pietro and told us to put our hands on it. I was pretty anxious and I’m sure Pietro was as well, even if he tried to keep with his tough-guy persona. But we did as we were told. We touched the machine and as soon as it happened, something amazing happened.

It started with a flash. This blinding blue light shot out from the machine and filled the room. For a second it felt like I was being burned on every inch of my skin. For another second it felt like I was being filled with this strange new energy. It was invigorating and painful at the same time. It lasted all but fifteen seconds. To me it felt like a lifetime. When it was over, the light faded and the machine went completely dark. My father didn’t even give us time to recover. He told us to stand up and face him. Apparently, he already knew what our powers would be ahead of time and for the next few years we would learn how to use them.

Pietro’s powers were easy enough. Being super fast fit nicely into his act-impulsively-and think-only-after-he’s-been-sufficiently-yelled-at persona. Within weeks he was running all around the countryside, having fun and getting into trouble wherever he could and getting away with it because of his speed. It took me a lot longer to master my powers because they involved something a lot more exotic.

I still don’t remember even half of the details my father explained. Somehow, my powers were related to quantum probability alterations. I must have missed the part where Marya home schooled me in quantum physics, but in a nutshell it meant I could alter probabilities through these special hexing bursts. When I first tried to use them, it was a disaster. I actually hit the chair Marya was sitting in and caused it to shatter.

I only got the hang of them through a long series of trial and error. Marya was a big help, using her mystical talents to guide me along. It wasn’t the same as learning the mystic arts, but I still came to embrace them. Marya even hinted at times that my powers were close enough to magic to be thought of as such. I’m not sure how serious she was, given she was such an expert when it came to subtle sarcasm. For all I know part of my powers are driven by magic. Even if they were, me being a mutant sent my life down a new path. Once again, it was a path my father would forge for me.

The shadow of her father’s presence still lingered. His throne room was thick with his presence. It brought out every conflicted feeling she ever felt for this man. Father or no father, he was the guiding force in her life. He set her up for many of the triumphs and tragedies that would consume her. Whether it was intentional or for her genuine benefit, Magneto made sure she shared in his bitterness for the world.

Walking up to the throne, Wanda trailed her hands along the vacant seat. Like everything else in the citadel, it was made of metal. The fine metallic feeling was cold yet ordered, a perfect reflection of Magneto and the way he carried himself. Even now, it was hard to be completely put off by such a harsh personality because in some ways she shared those defining traits. The seeds of this feeling were sewn in the first plan of her father’s that she ever took part in.

As soon as Pietro and I had mastered our powers to a certain point, it was time for us to escape the confines of our tiny Swiss home. My father wanted us to see the world as he had seen it. He wanted to show us first hand why he resented the human race so much. To do this he sent me and Pietro to war zones similar to the ones he used to visit when he was with Charles Xavier and my mother. He took Pietro to some hot zones in the Middle East while he sent me to the Turkish boarders of Eastern Europe with Marya. It was here where we got our first taste of the human condition and it didn’t take long for both of us to lose our appetites.

I traveled with Marya under the guise of a student looking to document the ethnic violence that had been raging in the area for decades. I knew it was going to be bad, but I had no idea it would be so horrendous. Even in my worst nightmares, I couldn’t imagine such horrors. I watched rival militias clash with one another and senselessly slaughter everything in their path. It was wholesale barbarism, watching these men act like animals as they killed each other with this venomous hatred in their eyes that looked more animal than man. I saw piles of dead bodies. I watched men rape women and slaughter children in front of their own mothers. I tried to understand where all this hatred was coming from. There were historical, cultural, and religious undertones to the conflict. But that didn’t make it any more meaningful. If anything, it gave me more reasons to share my father’s pessimism of the human condition.

I didn’t lose hope entirely. For a while I actually tried to help. Whenever I saw some militias on the move, I used my powers to destroy their guns and their equipment. It only delayed the violence. I never stopped it. The peace was always temporary. Pretty soon more violence would break out. At one point I grabbed someone aside and asked them about it. He was this young militiaman who wasn’t much older than I was. I used my powers to practically choke an answer out of him. His only response was that these people were a plague on their lands. He was just wiping them clean of pests.

That sent a powerful message to me about humanity. These men were not all that different form one another. They didn’t have powers or look radically different. Yet they were able to look down at each other the same way they look down at a bug. It was disgusting. I literally felt ill when I heard this. For a while I refused to believe that mankind was this barbaric. I gave them one too many chances to redeem themselves. All they did was give me more reasons to accept that my father had been right all along.

The final blow came on a foggy morning in this apartment complex that Marya and I were staying in. It was right near the edge of the conflict and we knew it was a dangerous place to be in. I probably shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was when terrorists stormed the complex and took a series of hostages. I had to get over that surprise quickly and put a stop to this conflict. I wasn’t about to let it catch me in it’s crosshairs. I also had to protect Marya. As good a mystic as she was, magic could only do so much against a hail of bullets. I tried to use my powers to spare her and these people such bloodshed. In doing so I saw humanity seal it’s fate.

I can still hear the footsteps of the men storming towards are floor. Marya and I helped barricade the other residents at the end of the hall. I then led her to the fire escape where I was going to help her get out while I stuck around and used my powers against the militia. I covered her as best I could, making my way through the halls and towards the elevators. Along the way I ran into six armed men looking for more hostages. I destroyed their guns and hexed them into unconsciousness without incident. I tried not to be too harsh. I wasn’t about to end up like them. That turned out to be a mistake.

One of the men I hexed wasn’t hit hard enough. While I was clearing out the other halls, he came too and crawled towards the barricades. Along the way he ran into Marya trying to escape. When he saw her, he attacked and caught her by surprise. Marya never had a chance to do a spell or anything. The man put a knife into her back before she could get the words out. When she screamed out, it was like someone ripping into my very soul. I immediately forgot all notions of mercy and understanding. I took out three more militiamen permanently as I went after Marya. By the time I reached her I was too late.

I’ll never forget the look on her face. It was still as cynical as ever, only now it was etched with a pain like no other. I saw the blood gushing from her neck. The man had slit her throat so she had no hope of survival. Before she drew her last breath, she said something to me with her eyes. It was the equivalent of saying “I told you so” without words. All those negative views on humanity and the world around her seemed vindicated at that very moment along with my father’s. I don’t remember much about what I did next, but that man who killed her got the hexing of a dozen lifetimes. I made sure he suffered for what he did. He didn’t just take part of my family. He took with him in his final moments of agonizing pain the last vestiges of hope I had for humanity.

Father had made his point. Now I understood completely. He was right all along. Humanity is a lost cause. Their hatred, cruelty, and bigotry will never cease. Thousands of years of evolution and they’re still savage cavemen. They refused to evolve and in doing so they were only causing more suffering. Something had to be done. My father wanted to do something about it and now I was ready to help him

Wanda removed her hands from the throne and fell back into her daze. The cause she fought for was a cause her father convinced her to be worthwhile. She still believed in that cause. She saw herself as fighting for the cause of protecting mutants from human oppression and confronting those who would do their kind harm. Yet in following her father, it led her to so much struggle and frustration. Was that because of the cause itself or because of how her father went about it?

After we laid Marya to rest, I met up with Pietro. Apparently, his visit to the Middle East had been somewhat traumatic as well. We were both teenagers yet we had to grow up much faster than we expected. We had to in order to become part of father’s struggle. He said to us that he needed our efforts to supplement his own. He could not oppose humanity by himself. He wanted to do so as a family. I believed him without question and so did Pietro. In the years that followed, we continued to believe him even when there were signs that we should have done at least a little questioning.

During those early years, most of our efforts were spent on sabotage and acquiring resources for Magneto’s plan. He enlisted the help of the shape-shifting Mystique to give us a steady stream of intelligence regarding human affairs. There were never any shortages of radical elements in the anti-mutant debate, which by now was becoming a global issue. These were the people we often attacked. It wasn’t just to spite them either. We often plundered their resources, be they financial or material. It was father’s way of taking resources from our enemies and using them to supplement our own. It was quite lucrative at first, although it wasn’t without obstacles.

Around the same time when we were beginning our operations, the X-men were making our position a lot more difficult to hold. Charles Xavier seemed intent on making a difference as well, only he wasn’t about opposing humanity directly. He wanted to protect them. He and his X-men dressed up in costumes, wore masks, and fought crime as costumed vigilantes. At first I thought it was just a joke, but they had a genuine impact on our cause. Suddenly, mutants weren’t monsters in the eyes of some humans. The tide that was growing against us was stalling. Magneto scoffed at Xavier’s efforts, but I had my concerns. I kept them to myself though. I still trusted in my father’s mission.

Pretty soon we started clashing with the X-men. Whenever we went after some fairly major anti-mutant groups, they often came to stand in our way. I resented them for doing so, thinking them to be naïve and misguided. I underestimated their resolve. They knew how to fight. We failed in a number of missions because of them. It set the stage for an increasingly bitter rivalry between Magneto and Charles Xavier. Pietro and I saw them as fools. I hated them because they hadn’t seen the horrors I saw. They hadn’t realized what I had come to realize. I thought that once they saw the depths of human barbarism, they would change their views. It was here where my blind faith started to crack a little.

I remember this one particular mission above all the others. This anti-mutant group had allied themselves with these Mexican drug cartels. They had a stronghold not far from the boarder of Guatemala where they stockpiled weapons and materials. If that wasn’t bad enough, this group often let the cartels pay them in mutant prisoners. What they would do is capture some poor mutant, bring them to the group, and then they were torture him or her in a way so horrible it makes me sick to my stomach just thinking about it. Not only that, they documented it and used it as propaganda. My father obviously wanted them taken care of so we planned to attack. The X-men were right there waiting for us.

They managed to infiltrate the complex before we did. They arrived just in time to see five of these monsters savagely torturing this crying 17-year-old mutant girl. They had beaten, bruised, and raped her. It was such a horrendous sight I would have thought anyone with any sense of sanity would take those men down and send them to hell where they belonged. The X-men didn’t do that. They saved the girl and subdued the men, but they did not kill them. I know because Pietro and I were involved in sabotaging their weapons stockpile. We were then supposed to go after the leaders. But the X-men caught them already. I tried to take them down, but I was stopped. I was so enraged that they would protect these monsters I was ready to kill them if they didn’t let me. That’s when one of those men spoke up and I’ll never forget what he said.

“You’re calling US monsters? We’re just doing what you would do to us! If we’re the monsters, we have you to thank!”

That hit me in a way I didn’t expect. For the first time I stepped back and looked at what I was doing and what my father was doing. These men were miserable excuses for human beings, just like the militiamen who killed Marya and my mother. Yet here I was with my family, attacking them and giving them all sorts of reasons to keep doing what they were doing. It led me to wonder whether we were just caught up in a brutal cycle. The more we fought, the more the humans fought back. Maybe we’re the ones fueling this hatred. Maybe we weren’t going about this cause the right way.

I tried voicing my concerns to my father. He brushed them off as he did so many other things. He didn’t even bother to think about it. I saw in his eyes so much hatred that had built up over the years. There was no reason for him to think. I still had reasons I couldn’t escape. It would linger with me as we kept struggling.

From this point on I continued to fight by my father’s side, but never without this small sliver of doubt in the back of my head. I still believed what we were fighting for. I just wasn’t convinced father’s plan would succeed completely. Pietro didn’t share my concerns. He brushed it off just like Magneto. Like father like son indeed. I now felt the burden of being the only one doing any thinking in this family. Therefore, I had to be the responsible one. That took on a new level of importance once the Brotherhood was formed.

Wanda scowled towards the throne and turned away in a fit of bitterness. Now the full weight of the burden was falling upon her. The more she thought about it, the more it seemed that she was the only one willing to bear it. Nobody else had the sense or the foresight to do so. Even when Magneto brought in more manpower, she was left to do all the thinking that nobody else was willing to do.

After years of acquiring resources, father’s plans were finally coming together. We had our core of mutants with which to launch our uprising. For years Magneto talked about establishing a battlefront with which to begin the war against humanity. It had to start somewhere. They had to have a place where the mutants of the world could gather and stand as one against their oppressors. That’s how all great revolutions began and for this act, he chose Genosha.

I couldn’t think of a better location. This cursed island has been the scene of many wars and uprisings. For most of the century it was run by brutal dictators and Cameron Hodge was no exception. What set him apart from the others was that he used mutants as the scapegoat to rally his supporters. To my father he was the equivalent of another Hitler, looking to inflict a second holocaust on our kind. We weren’t about to let that happen. We were ready to oppose him. However, the revolution he hoped to launch did not have the outcome he or anyone for that matter expected.

Once again, the X-men intervened. Their participation changed everything. They stopped Magneto from inciting the war. They stopped what could have been an outright slaughter between our forces and Genosha’s. On top of it all, Pietro had been wounded in the crossfire and in that instant those slivers of doubt became full fledged cracks. Then after I found out that Cameron Hodge was just using our cause to further his own, which had nothing to do with mutants, that revealed to me an uncomfortable truth.

This wasn’t working. Father’s plan was not going to help our cause. He was wrong. We weren’t going to help our brethren by starting a war that was founded in lies. I was left to make the ultimate decision. I had the power to stop the fighting before it got out of hand. So I made the decision that put me in the position I’m in now. I listened to the X-men. I made my own plan for my father’s cause. I’m not sure if it was entirely right, but I know it wasn’t entirely wrong.

We all paid a high price. We all had to realize that Hodge used us and we were doing nothing more than serving the interests of the anti-mutant bigots who were just looking for more reasons to hate us. We had to be better. We had to be stronger. That’s why I was so enamored by the idea of turning Genosha into a mutant haven. It seemed more fitting. Instead of making it the front lines for a war, why not make it a homeland for mutant kind? I thought on some levels this is what my father wanted. I was willing to sacrifice and make compromises to accomplish it.

Part of the price I had to pay was watching my father get hauled off to GuantanamoBay for his supposed war crimes. Charles Xavier promised to make sure he was taken care of. I decided to trust him because he did help save Pietro and he did prevent the militaries of the world from outright killing my father. He even exposed Hodge’s plot and helped give our new nation on Genosha some legitimacy. I still didn’t like the man, but I was willing to work with him if he could help me do what was best for our kind. Perhaps I put too much faith in him as well because like my father, he couldn’t completely deliver.

Xavier only ended up setting the stage for father’s next plan, which not surprisingly he didn’t share with me. This one turned out to be even more questionable than the uprising. The idea of using an asteroid to threaten humanity with mass extinction seems excessive even within circumstances we had to deal with. I honestly didn’t think Magneto was going to let that rock hit. Then I saw him lose his mind to the power of that machine. It was not a pleasant sight. It showed that for all my father’s vision, he still had a certain element of madness that made him no better than a tyrant.

That was the worst realization of them all. It affirmed what I had started to fear since the uprising. My father’s blind hatred was turning him into the very monster he was fighting against. It was no longer about following a vision for our kind. It was about vengeance. He was just going to do to the humans what they had been doing to each other for centuries. Yet somehow that was supposed to make mutants more superior? I could no longer blindly accept that. The mere fact he was willing to wipe out the entire human race with that asteroid is proof that this was no longer about humans and mutants. It was about hatred, plain and simple.

In this sense I’m glad the X-men stopped him. He needed to be stopped for once. My father was walking a very dark path and something or someone needed to pull him back. Between the X-men and the presence of my half-sister, Lorna, we managed to keep him from such madness. This time I didn’t do anything. I just watched as he was humbled in wake of his own madness. Lorna managed to do what I couldn’t. She reached him. I was relieved, yet still somewhat disappointed in myself because I had done nothing. My only chance was to try and make up for it as we forged a new path on Genosha, hoping that my father had learned his lesson. Now I know that I was probably hoping for too much.

Wanda turned back and faced the throne. In her mind she could still see her father sitting there, gazing off into space with that stoic look in his eye that always had a touch of resentment. His hatred for humanity wasn’t something he could forget. It was practically part of who he was. Even with Lorna in hid midst to reach that small sliver of humanity he still had in his heart, this hatred was never going to fade. Yet because this man was her father, she still trusted him in a way she shouldn’t have. That wasn’t just his fault. She bore a much larger share of that blame.

For a while we had an opportunity to really take the mutant cause to another level. Thanks to the treaties we worked out with international authorities, we were our own sovereign state. We could have been the cornerstone for a new era of mutant prosperity. If only Magneto had taken advantage of these circumstances. But no…he had to look for another killing blow to the human race.

This time he would find it in an alien ship. I admit that possibility did not cross my mind at all when it came to using Genosha as a proving ground for mutants. I was aware of the island’s mysterious history. When I found out that an alien ship played a part, I thought it was another one of Pietro’s sick jokes. Then I saw the ship for myself and I got this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.

In a ways it made sense of a lot of things. It showed how men like Cameron Hodge could get the technology and know-how to create the sentinels. It also opened the door to some disturbing possibilities. What could my father do with that kind of technology? He was a very smart man who was very tech savvy for a man his age. I naively hoped that he would use it to make Genosha a more powerful country. Instead, he used it to fall back into old habits.

His first stunt was something I actually went along with. He used some of the knowledge from that craft to make a machine that was going to turn Senator Kelly into a mutant. I thought this was a good plan because for one, it didn’t involve killing anybody or starting a war. And secondly, it would give a man who has said some very nasty things about our kind a taste of empathy. It didn’t exactly turn out as we planned, but it did turn Senator Kelly’s son into a mutant and that did seem to make a difference. Senator Kelly is now president of the United States and he hasn’t implemented those draconian anti-mutant laws he used to champion. I thought that this would be the end of my father’s alien obsession, but the Kelly plot was just a test run for something much bigger.

As usual, I was complacent. I busied myself by my part to keep the peace on Genosha with the Brotherhood. All the while, Magneto was studying and scheming. He claimed he was doing research on improving the condition for all mutants. He wouldn’t go into details and I didn’t expect him to. I thought if he did something extreme like the asteroid incident, I would be ready to act and so would Lorna. Nobody, not even Magneto himself, could have predicted how wrong it would go.

The Cambrian essentially shattered whatever credibility my father had left in my eyes. Now he was the fool. In a ways he was a victim because he didn’t understand what he was dealing with. I don’t doubt that he believed this creature would benefit mutants, but to what end? It wasn’t just about furthering evolution. It was about power and making sure he had more than the rest of the human race. Why else would he be so reckless in pursuing this thing?

He paid a price for his greed. We all paid a price. By unleashing the Cambrian, my father destroyed all the progress we made on Genosha. He turned the world against us. It wasn’t the Cambrian that was the greatest monster. It was my father and the way this creature affected him. Lorna and Pietro believe that it was the creature, not the man that was behind that madness. I see it another way. I believe the Cambrian tapped into that hatred he still harbors for this world he can’t resist destroying.

“Damn you, father…damn you and your obsessive hatred,” Wanda cursed.

The young woman slammed her fist upon the arm of the throne, venting the pent up frustration that was finally boiling over. A few small hex sparks escaped her hand, a product of a chaotic mess that she was now responsible for cleaning up. It was an annoying act of irony. She held in her hands the power of chaos itself yet she was the one tasked with forging order out of the chaos her father left in wake of the Cambrian and the Warlock incident.

After being consumed by that kind of madness, it’s no wonder he became mentally unstable. It wasn’t even all that surprising when he tried another crazy stunt with that Warlock device from the alien ship. He just can’t let it go. He has to keep lashing out at this world. It doesn’t even bother him that his own family gets caught in the crossfire. So long as it leads to the destruction of humanity, it’s all fair game.

For that reason, I could care less if my father returns from his impromptu exile. It’s taken me too long to realize a painful truth. While my father’s cause may be a good one, his tactics will only bring doom to us all. Mutant kind simply cannot afford to follow a man who is comfortable with paying so high a price. The shedding of so much blood will only embolden our human oppressors. That’s why I will no longer be following my father’s plans. I don’t know where he ran off to or how long he’ll be gone for, but I sincerely hope he has time to reflect on the mistakes he has made. Even if he accepts responsibility, he has lost the privilege of being the leader of this island and this cause.

Now I shake off one burden and take on another. The first time I ruled this island, I did so with little desire to take my father’s place. I was aimless and lost, full of doubt as to what path I would forge for our people. This time I have a plan. With help from Charles Xavier, we have a treaty that will put Genosha and the mutant race in a strong position. We have alien technology at our disposal and with it we can not just buy peace from the rest of the world, we can showcase mutant ingenuity and resolve. We can stand united as a country that is strong, resilient, and worthy of respect.

For too long our kind has tried to take respect by force. It’s time we start earning it. Only then will we be able to assert ourselves against those who would oppress us. We won’t just dominate with our powers. We will dominate with our will. I may not have my father’s charisma, but I do have his resolve. I’m ready to lead our people into the future. Father had his chance and he failed us all. Now it’s my turn.

Wanda swallowed the lingering emotions that had been choking her demeanor. The throne before her was no longer a relic of her father’s burdens. She refused to allow his shadow to dominate over her and this land. She was the ruler of Genosha and the leader of the mutant cause. This throne was hers now.

With a new strength and an iron will, Wanda Maximoff took her place upon this seat of power. She sat down in the same place from which her father once formulated the plans that had caused them so much strife. It sent a brief shiver up her spine, knowing the kind of legacy she had to live down. That added pressure only served to motivate her. As the daughter of Magneto, the responsibility fell upon her shoulders to right her father’s wrongs. It was a responsibility that she was ready to bear and one that she would not take lightly.

“It’s over for you, father. Genosha is no longer in your hands. This is my vision now…my plan for our kind. If ever you wish to sit on this throne again, you’ll have to fight me for it. Just know that if you try, the odds will always be in my favor.”

End of Supreme Reflections Volume 4

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