The man paced slowly back and forth before his captive audience, his white hair, colorless since birth, dripping with sweat. The South American jungle heat was nearly toxic in the way the humidity threatened to coat the lungs as the flesh was covered with perspiration. The man, his name was Erik, had not spoken since he had entered the room, unannounced, surprising the Massad operatives and their prisoner.
The prisoner, handcuffed to a bed with a blindfold on, spoke in accented Spanish, asking what was going on, but only receiving the muffled sounds of his guards as replies. The men, trained special operatives of the government of Israel, were bound with metal bands that seemed alive as they obeyed the mental commands of Erik. He spoke to the guards in Hebrew.
"Stop resisting and you will not be harmed, I promise."
Perhaps it was the sincerity in the voice, or the ice blue of the eyes, but the guards believed the man and soon stopped struggling. Erik nodded, indicating that he would keep his end of the bargain and moved over to the man on the bed. He removed the blindfold and examined him.
The prisoner was a tall, gangly man, balding with a pointed nose. He looked, Erik thought, about as frightening as a puddle of rainwater. To think that this was once one of the most powerful men in Germany, two decades before. "Good evening, Herr Eichmann," Erik said in perfect German.
"That is not my name; my name is Roberto Clemente," the man answered in his broken Spanish.
Erik smacked him across the face. "Swine. Speak the language of your beloved Fatherland, the language of your Master Race."
The man who claimed to be Roberto Clemente wiped his tearing eye on his shoulder and began to speak again, when Erik put a finger to his pursed lips. "Choose your next words carefully, Herr Eichmann, for they may be your last. I have no interest in your pleas of innocence. Consider it fair play."
The prisoner decided not to speak and Eric straightened up and moved over to the two guards. He waved his hand and the metal bedding straps that had covered their mouths simply moved away. One guard, a burly man with dark hair spoke. "Who are you? Odessa?" the man asked, referring to the alleged secret organization of ex-Nazi's that was operating in South America.
"Nein," Erik answered, helping the men to sit up. As he did, the sleeve on his safari shirt lifted slightly and the burly guard noticed a tattooed number.
"You are one of us?"
Erik paused for a moment, considering his answer. "If you mean," he began in Hebrew, "am I one who was wronged by filth like him, if I burn deep in my soul for vengeance, if I was born a Jew, then yes, we are brothers. If you are asking if I support your government, lick to boots of the United Nations and sell my very being to be part of the 'world wide community', then I say no. Today, you are fortunate in that I do consider you my brother, otherwise, I assure you, you would be dead."
The other guard yelped slightly and Erik willed his bonds to loosen slightly. "What are you, that you can do such things?"
Erik smiled and then looked over at "Roberto". "I am the Final Solution."
"Tell me, Herr Eichmann, how does it feel to be trapped, not knowing when I will decide to kill you? Can you feel the cold hand of Death lying on your shoulder? Do you pray to God, asking for an angel to come and save you?"
The prisoner did not answer, a welt developing where Erik had struck him. Erik smiled a sinister grin. "How intelligent you must have thought you were, to come up with such a simple answer to Hitler's problems? How glorious you must have been, hailed as a genius and true, proud German man. Yet, I see flaws in you, Herr Eichmann. You are balding and your nose is too long...I wonder how long it would have been before Herr Himmler would have decided to finish you off, eh?"
The prisoner was not baited, but Erik had much time before him. For too long, he had waited for a moment like this, and he was going to savor it. "You know, my family was dragged from Poland and shipped to Germany in a boxcar. I had a cousin, a very pretty girl. I remember thinking to myself, as young boys would, that someday I would marry her. She was sixteen the day we entered the camp. She never saw seventeen. She was raped and then shot. Tell me, Herr Eichmann, would you like me to do the same to your wife?"
Erik saw a slight reaction and knew he was going down the right track now. Eichmann's weaknesses were his intelligence and his family. The family would be the appetizer.
"Oh, what am I thinking? Nobody would want to bed such an ugly, German cow. How about your son, then? I know some of the local bandino's would have no problem showing him the ropes, you might say. Does that bother you, the thought of your son orally servicing sub-humans? I assure you, what I have planned for him will be far more painful for you. Perhaps I will make him eat his own testicles, or pick corn from shit like you used to make others do."
"You remember, don't you, how your poor leader, your demi-god Herr Hitler, was suffering so the problem of what to do with the Jews, the Poles, the Gypsies and all of the other mongrel races? It was you that came up with the idea of the gas chambers and the crematoriums, wasn't it? You got a thrill, didn't you, thinking about all of those people being thrown alive into ovens."
The prisoner shook his head and Erik saw a single tear start to form. He balled his hand into a fist and threw it back. "Don't you dare shed tears! You have no right to cry, you inhuman bastard. You, with your mighty swastika and iron crosses! Where is your swastika now, eh?"
Erik dropped his fist when the prisoner straightened up. Erik heard soft crying behind him and he turned to see the burly guard crying. Erik walked slowly over. "Why is it that you cry?"
"You bring up memories I had hoped to bury deep, memories I had hoped to make peace with. My mother, father and sister all..." the man could not finish.
Erik turned to the other man. "Why is it that you do not cry?"
"I lived in America during the war, my family was safe in Brooklyn during the war."
Erik nodded. "Do you think that because they are in America they are safe? You would do well to listen then; what you will learn here will allow you to know what being different is."
"Did you ever visit a concentration camp, Herr Eichmann? I know you did not ever visit mine. I still remember the day that the guards came and took my parents away. I tried to stop them, but I was young and weak from hunger. Others tried to help me and I remember this little girl, her face dirty from the mud, screaming about the violence. A guard smashed her skull with a rifle butt."
"For the rest of my life I will always remember the sight of that little face, broken in half, brains spilled out onto the ground as the smoke from my parents burning bodies filled the air."
The prisoner did nothing, but Erik Saw he was trembling and that made him feel good. He said nothing for five minutes, letting his mind drift back to the day he had escaped. When he was ready, he pulled up a chair to the prisoner's bed and sat down on it with it's back to his chest. "Why is it that such pathetic little men always have to prove their worth by attacking the defenseless. My own people convinced Pontius Pilate to crucify Jesus Christ because he was popular; the Catholic Church persecuted hundreds of thousands of so-called heretics during the Inquisition; the white man slaughtered the American Indian for his land; and then you lofty-headed bastards decided to kill all of the Jews and magically, the world would be a better place. You just couldn't admit that you had lost a war because your race is genetically flawed. You're animals, all of you, fit only to be tamed or hunted."
Erik stood up. "Herr Eichmann, do you know how I escaped your Final Solution, your death camps? I escaped because I am not human, I am the Master Race, Homo Superior." Erik paused. "Ah, I can see by the rise of your eyebrows you know exactly what it is I speak of. Did you get to read the secret reports from Dr. Mengela to Herr Himmler about his experiments on...mutants?"
The burly guard spoke up. "What is this mutant you speak of?"
Erik raised his arms and everything made of ferrous metal rose in the air, with the exception of the items being used to secure the men. "This is mutant."
The objects began to circle around, as if caught in a vortex. Spinning like faeries of ancient tale, the objects came within a hair's length of hitting each of them men, but they knew that it was by no accident or divine intervention that they were not struck. Erik smiled, waving his hands as if conducting an invisible orchestra. "It is so simple now, to control my powers, my abilities that demonstrate how different I am from you. Oh, I know now how Herr Mengela was searching for the key to genetic mutation. He wrongly believed that the Jews were a mutation, and that through them, the key to abilities such as mine could be found."
The objects fell to the floor without making a sound, as if they were gently laid in place. Erik stormed across the room and put his face up to the prisoner's. "How did it start, this search for mutantkind? Was it when the Negro, Jesse Owens, bested your German athletes at the Olympics? Were you convinced that he had to have abilities far beyond normal men to defeat your ubermensche, your supermen?"
Erik grabbed the prisoner by the throat. "Look into my eyes and see the Angel of Death, fool. You and your so-called scientists, busy measuring skull thickness and prostate sizes when you should been looking at the cells. In your fear and frustration, you lashed out and killed all of those different than you, demonstrating that you are nothing but animals." He squeezed and the prisoner began to choke. "You are nothing, little man, just as the guards at the camp were like wheat to be felled before my powers. I had no control and my magnetic waves reached out, attacking the very iron in their blood. How unfortunate that many innocent prisoners also died, but it could not be helped. Shall I boil your blood? Will you scrawl words into the wall as you die with your fingernails? Did you know that was what they found on the inside of your crematoriums? Written pleas from your victims for vengeance from God."
"But God never came."
Erik released the man just as he was turning blue and the man gasped for air, taking it in huge gulps. The burly man spoke up. "Do not kill him, he must stand trial."
Erik turned, a sneer on his face. "Did we stand trial? Did my cousin? Did your mother? Where was our representation?"
"You cannot change the past, but you can build on the future. Do not let the things this man has done poison you," the burly man pleaded.
Erik laughed. "And what of the others? What of the rest of you who hounded me through Europe even after the war?"
Neither of the guards had an answer. Erik smirked. Finally, the younger man spoke up. "If you kill him, you are just as bad as him."
"I have a friend named Charles," Erik began, sitting back down in his chair. "He would agree with you. Sometimes I believe that our differing philosophies may drive our friendship to its end. But that does not matter, here."
"You are Jewish! You would deny the people of Israel their day in court?" the burly guard asked.
"Any part of me that was Jewish died with that screaming little girl. To be Jewish is to acknowledge that I am human and I am not human," he replied, a hint of disgust in his voice. "Herr Eichmann is human; I am to him as you are to the field mouse."
"So, you hate all of us...you fear us," the younger man said from behind clenched teeth. "You would be like them and judge the whole race based on the actions of a few."
Erik turned and the air around his eyes seemed to shimmer and the younger man felt his bonds tighten. "You would dare to presume to compare me to that filth? Watch your words carefully, boy, for I fear no man. You live only because I know what your people have faced and to what lengths you have gone to secure this prisoner. I would never kill a child, human or otherwise; I would never attack innocent civilians, round them up for slaughter..."
The prisoner began to laugh. All three men turned to look at him. "Listen to yourself, mutant! You spout your liberal views of never harming children while proclaiming your superiority over all men. Give it some time, freak, and you will be just as we were, seeking a way to rid the Earth of all of those you consider inferior."
Erik said nothing as the prisoner continued. "The idea burns in you with each passing day, how you have been denied your birthright, your place in history! Oh, yes, what happened to your parents was terrible for you I'm sure, but don't expect me to weep over the ashes of primates! I can see it in your eyes, in the way you walk...you want to hate me for what I've done, what my people have done, but in the end, you find you are no different."
Erik punched the prisoner solidly on the jaw, sending him flopping over onto his side. "Nein, mien Herr, there is a huge difference between you and I. I fail to see how peasants, farmers and rabbis could be much of a danger to a million-man army; but I do see how that same million-man army could pose a threat to my kind! You attacked innocents in the name of racial superiority, when the fact is that you are genetically compromised."
The prisoner turned his head and Erik finally saw what he had wanted to see, the eyes of a killer. The verbal exchange, coupled with Erik's blow, had brought the man out of the sheep. Erik could see the eyes of the Nazi bureaucrat that had signed the death warrant for 6 million innocent people. It would be so easy to kill him now.
"If you are going to kill me, go ahead, freak!" the prisoner cried.
Erik could sense the magnetic fields around the man and knew he could, with a thought, pull the iron out of the man's system, or pick up a knife with his power and stab the man hundreds of times without so much as moving his hand. All of the possibilities were open to him.
A thought entered his mind and he sighed.
"No, Herr Eichmann, not today; you will have your day in court. I only wanted to be sure it really was you, as my spies in the Israel intelligence agency told me. You will die, rest assured, but only after you are brought before the entire world to answer for your crimes."
Erik walked out of the apartment and down the stairs to the waiting van. The bald headed driver wiped sweat from his shining head. "Do you feel better, Erik?" the man asked.
"In a way, Charles," Erik said as they started to pull away. "I had to be sure it was him. I owed it to myself."
"I never thought of you as particularly religious, my friend," Charles said.
"As I said in there, I stopped being Jewish when I discovered I was a mutant."
Charles stopped at an intersection and began checking for cross traffic. "So, you don't feel the need for God anymore?"
"I'm not sure I believe in a God that didn't allow my powers to become active until after all of those people had died. What good is it to believe when you die anyway?" Erik asked half-heartedly. "Oh, don't ever invade my mind like that again, Charles. If I wanted to kill that pig, you couldn't have stopped me."
Charles accepted the admonishment with a smile and turned a corner. Erik said nothing more for approximately a half hour, instead simply looking out the window at the people as they passed them on the dirt road. "Tell me, Charles, do you think we would ever be like them? Will we ever become so convinced of our superiority that we would do the same things to ensure our victory over humanity?"
"I never realized we were at war, Erik; rather dangerous thoughts, don't you think?"
Erik put his head back without answering, considering the weight of his friend's words as the sun began to set on the horizon.