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In Which Meir Kahane Gave Magneto a Bloody Nose, Part 2

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They hid the pipe bomb in a shopping bag outside the door the night before the lecture, as Magneto, Mystique, and Azazel watched in bemusement from a car parked across the street.

"So many ways to handle this," Mystique said. "We could have Azazel vanish it away, or you could pull it away, or hell, we could even just call the police to handle the bomb after I beat the shit out of the little punks myself."

"All good plans, Mystique. But no, I think we need to think a little bit bigger. What's the message we send if we let Kahane take his punishment in secret? The world needs to learn that mutants punch back."

"The world needs to learn that Kahane can't go around bombing mutants and earning sympathy from the humans. If we make a scene, the world will take the lesson, but Kahane won't. He feeds off the publicity of doing outrageous things."

In the back seat, Azazel exposed an uneven grin. "We teach the world a lesson by disabling the bomb in public. We teach Kahane a different lesson in private, afterward."

"We have a more pressing problem," Magneto said. "I've been probing the bomb to see if I can move it. There is no metal in it whatsoever."

"That's not a problem. Azazel can still teleport it away."

"It is a problem. It means they're expecting us." There was a knock on the passenger side window. Mystique turned to see what it was.

"Do you like our decoy bomb?" a man with a black fedora asked when she rolled down the window. "The real one is safely hidden away. A lot less obvious. And no, Reb Erik, it doesn't have any metal in it either." Magneto looked impassively at Kahane.

"You mutants think you're so much smarter. I've read your literature. Homo superior. The next stage in human evolution. You've forgotten what your mother taught you, Reb Erik. All true wisdom comes from Hakadosh Baruch Hu."

"My mother never taught me anything. A human killed her when I was a child, because I was a mutant. Because he was afraid of what I could do." Mystique had met a mutant a few years ago named Medusa, who could stop your heart by looking you in the eye. The Brotherhood had liberated her from a brutal life in a government facility and helped her escape with her family to environs unknown. Magneto was staring at Kahane like he wished he were Medusa.

Kahane laughed. "The third principle of the Jewish Defense League is Barzel. You know what that means, Reb Erik? It's the kind of iron that you can't throw around. We'll see you tomorrow. And your shiksa girlfriend, too. We're not afraid of what you can do." He turned and walked away.

Magneto watched as he disappeared down a side street. "I am going to enjoy destroying that man," he said. In the back seat, Azazel shivered.

"He seemed familiar," Mystique said. "He reminds me of someone I know, but I can't put my finger on it."

"Shut up," Magneto said, and drove away.