Look for story information in part 1.
As the car rolled, the two men were quiet to begin with.
Doctor Lecter whistled through his memory palace within his mind,
and tried to think of a good place to go to. His eyes were closed as
he pondered. At times he was so still it looked like he was sleeping.
Erik was silent and kept his eyes on the road. He waited for his
kidnapper to tell him how far he would have to drive.
Doctor Lecter started removing his disguise after some time. Wig,
glasses, and false moustache went back into his briefcase. He took
off Erik's hat and put in on his lap. Now Hannibal Lecter looked
he did during the lecture.
- Thank you for lending me your hat, doctor Lehnsherr, he said.
Erik turned his head and studied the other man's face
Lecter looked like anyone, but still he didn't. Pale skin, dark
dark eyes, a slightly aquiline nose, oval face, thin lips. Had Erik
not seen that face somewhere before?
- Let's be honest, can we? he couldn't help saying. Who are
Your name is not Reuben Hudson, right? And you are no doctor?
Doctor Lecter chuckled. - Right and wrong, he replied. My name is
*not* Reuben Hudson, but I *do* have a medical degree.
- Alright... You are a fugitive, aren't you? The police are
- Right again.
- Why? What have you done?
Lecter's face suddenly got stern and repelling.
- Just drive, okay? The less you know about me, the better.
- I won't tell. I know what it is like to be chased. You can
tell me. I will be able to handle it, whatever it is.
- Is this a therapy session?
Magneto shrugged his shoulders. - I won't pretend to be
that I'm not. I just say that you can trust me. I promise. I must
admit I am very curious of who you are, what you have done.
- What do you want to know?
- What to call you, for instance?
- I am doctor Hannibal Lecter, Hannibal said.
- Hannibal Lecter...? Oh, God... I remember you... You... eh...
escaped from Tennessee about ten years ago.
- "Hannibal the Cannibal". That is you, isn't it?
- Media gave me that nickname.
Erik studied the man again. Hannibal Lecter... Right. Hannibal
Lecter was considered one of the most dangerous fugitives in the USA.
The newspapers had been full of stuff about Lecter shortly after his
escape. But it was long ago, and the subject had never really
- You are a psychiatrist, right? Or you were, before you...
- Doctor Lecter...
- Have you decided where you want to go?
- Not yet. I'm thinking.
- Are you planning to kill me? Eat my face, perhaps?
Lecter gave a short and ironic laughter. - "No" on both
- Is it true, then? That you used to eat your victims?
Doctor Lecter smiled again. - Only the rude ones, he said.
The expression that formed in Erik's face made him burst out
- I was just joking. Have you no sense of humour, Erik? Can I call
- Of course.
- Quid pro quo, Erik. Now I think we have had enough about me. And
- Me what?
- You asked who I was, and now I'm asking you the same.
- I have told you who I am, doctor Lecter. I was not lying.
- Your name is Erik Lehnsherr, and you are a nuclear physicist,
yes. But you are something more, too. Something much more. I can tell
that. You weren't lying when you said you had been through a lot.
- No, that was probably correct.
- Will you talk to me? doctor Lecter asked in a professional voice,
like he'd been talking to a patient during a therapy session.
- What do you want to talk about?
- You are an interesting person, Erik. I would like to get to know
you better. Can you tell me what hunts you?
- Nothing hunts me, Erik claimed.
- Don't lie. That I can tell. You have had a severe childhood,
haven't you? Is it right that you are from Europe?
- Germany? Poland?
- I am Jewish. I lived in Germany until the war broke out.
Doctor Lecter nodded. - I see. Tell me, were you a camp-victim?
- I really don't want to talk about it, alright? Magneto
and turned to face Lecter. He was still scared of this strange man,
but the fear of confronting the memories from WW2 was even greater.
Doctor Lecter put his hands up. - Sorry. Upsetting you was not my
intention. But I know what it feels like.
- Excuse me, doctor, but I don't think you know at all.
- Oh, yes, I do. I was there too. The Nazis killed my mother,
father, little sister and our nanny, Hannibal said quietly.
Erik looked at the other man in surprise.
- *You* were in a concentration camp? But...how... how old are you?
You don't look to... I mean... you must have been young.
- I was young. Not even six.
- I am sorry, Erik said sincerely.
- Thank you. I have learned to deal with it. Have you?
- I lost my family too. It is difficult to deal with. I was eleven.
I actually didn't think I would be able to recover, but luckily I
a wonderful friend who helped me through it. Without him I would have
- A friend? doctor Lecter asked.
- Yes. In fact he is a shrink too.
- Friends are nice to have.
Erik smiled faintly. The fact that Charles and he had been more
than friends (and still were) was not anything that Hannibal Lecter
needed to know.
- Yes, friends are wonderful, he just agreed.
That which surprised Erik was that Lecter was old enough to have
experienced WW2. Until now he had believed that the doctor was
somewhere around 55, but it was obvious that he must be remarkably
older than that. Probably around 60, perhaps more.
- Doctor Lecter, Erik said.
- How old are you?
- I turned 63 this August.
Erik shrugged. - You look younger.
- Was that a compliment?
- Rather it was a fact.
- Ah. And you?
- I am 68.
Lecter suddenly switched topic of conversation. - You had a hard
time once you first came here, right, Erik?
- Yes, Magneto granted. A very hard time, actually. I had no money,
no relatives, no education, and no language skills. I was fifteen.
- But now you are a wealthy man?
- You have good taste, Hannibal said, impressed. I do like your
car. Very stylish.
- Thank you.
- But that is not your best suit, is it?
- No, perhaps not, Erik replied with a scowl. Was that a way of
saying I am not well dressed?
- It was only an observation, said Lecter with a smile. There is no
need to feel insulted.
- I was not insulted.
- Don't lie to me. I can tell that taste is one of your
spots. No one likes to be told that he - or she - has a bad taste,
right? But you should know that I do not give compliments unless I
mean them. Your car is stylish. I did mean that. Blandishment is not
- No offence, doctor Lecter, but you are weird.
- I prefer the term "eccentric", doctor Lecter replied with
dignity. Erik, would you mind telling me why you travelled to America?
- I wanted to get away from Europe...the memories...everything,
said Erik. I had heard so many good things about the USA. The land of
peace and tolerance. And then I got to study, meet people, and...
He let the sentence trail off.
- And what? Lecter's metallic voice cut through the air.
- And...just see the States, Erik tried.
- No, that was not what you were going to say originally, doctor
Lecter said knowingly.
Magneto hesitated. Then he asked, - Do you think you can stand to
hear a truth about me?
- Try me, Hannibal replied.
- I have...certain...gifts, Erik began. That normal people
have. It is...genetic. I am a mutant.
- Are you?
- Have you been discriminated because of it? Hannibal asked.
Magneto snorted. - Yes, a lot. And for other things too. I have,
mildly expressed, become quite inimically disposed toward
people, throughout the years.
- I understand. Mutant rights activist?
Doctor Lecter frowned and looked contemplative for some time. Then
he lightened up and smiled. - Yes, right. I think I have read about
you in the newspapers. You were one of those who tried to blow up the
Statue of Liberty a couple of years ago, weren't you?
- Not exactly blow up, but I know what you are referring to.
- Were you imprisoned because of it?
- And you are out already? Two years seem like an incredibly short
punishment for a terrorist attack, Erik. Perhaps you and I have more
in common than I thought at first? he finished with a wink.
- No, not exactly. I have not run away. My friend got me out on
parole early this year.
- Your "friend"?
- Yes, he.
- You must be very important to him, aren't you?
- We are close, yes.
- So...Erik... doctor Lecter began slowly, will you tell me what
kind of "gifts" you have?
Erik smiled to himself. - Didn't the newspapers say?
- Alright... I could show you, but... first you have to promise me
not to freak out.
- I cross my heart, said doctor Lecter.
- Okay... Do you have any small object to give me? A penny, a
pencil, or anything?
- I have a quarter in my wallet. Will that do?
Doctor Lecter took out the quarter and handed it to Erik.
- Keep your eyes on the penny, Magneto instructed, as he held it in
his open palm.
- I am looking, Hannibal said with interest.
Erik pulled his hand away and the little penny was left in the air,
floating freely. At first it was still, but then it slowly moved
toward Hannibal Lecter to finally drop in his hand.
Nervously Erik waited for a response.
- Cool, doctor Lecter just said. Telekinesis. What wouldn't I
to have that?
- No, I am not telekinetic. I do that by magnetism. I can only move
objects made of metal. And not even all metals. When I was
imprisoned, all things in my cell were made of plastic, glass, or
- I see. Metal was not allowed in my cell either. Before I could
read my magazines, a guard removed all paper clips and staples.
- You know what? That was done for me too.
- They used to think I was a real inconvenience.
- I know. It took the guards hours to complete it. They got quite
annoyed eventually. But you couldn't risk letting Magneto escape.
- They called you "Magneto"?
- That is my codename.
- Excuse me, but "Magneto" sounds stupid.
Erik glanced angrily at doctor Lecter. - "Hannibal the
does too! he muttered.
Doctor Lecter shrugged. - Like I said, I can't affect what
comes up with.
- No, of course not. Have you decided where you want to go, doctor
Lecter? We have been out driving for 45 minutes.
- Just keep driving. I will tell you when to stop. I need a place
where I can hide for a few days until this thing calms down. Media
will shout: "Lecter stabbed another police officer" for some
Suddenly Erik got an idea. It seemed like folly, but somehow he had
started to feel sympathy for Hannibal Lecter, and suddenly wanted to
help him. Erik was convinced that the doctor Lecter of the reality
was not as bad as media made him seem like. Strange, yes, even
eccentric, as he'd said himself, but not evil or terrible.
- I could help you, Hannibal, he proposed carefully. I know a place
where you could hide.
- Oh, really? Where? doctor Lecter asked with not much hope.
- We could drive to the Xavier-institute.
- What is that?
- It is a school for mutants, which my friend runs; professor
Charles Xavier. He is used to helping people who needs to hide.
- I am no mutant... Hannibal murmured.
- No, but I am sure he would like to help you anyway. He is really
a good man. Trust me.
- And why would you like to help me?
Erik shrugged. - It was only a suggestion. I am not forcing you to
accept my help.
Doctor Lecter looked doubtful. - Where is this school?
- In Westchester, New York. About two, three hours from here. I
could call Charles and tell him we're coming over.
- Well, alright. Call him, said doctor Lecter.
Erik took out his cell phone and dialled the number to the Xavier-
institute. After three signals a female voice answered. - The Xavier
institute, Ororo Munroe.
- Good afternoon, Storm. It's Erik. Can you put Charles on the
- One moment, Storm said on the other side. Shortly after Erik
could hear his friend and lover's voice in the telephone.
- Erik. I was just thinking about you. How are you? Charles said.
- I am fine. Listen, I have to talk to you.
- Of course. Has something happened? Xavier asked then, sounding
- Both yes and no. I have a friend here, who has got himself into a
kind of situation, and needs a place to hide at. Will it be alright
if I come over with him?
- A friend, you said? Now?
- Yes, now. In a few hours.
- Where are you now?
- In my car, a few miles north of Westchester. Can we come over?
- Is your friend with you now?
- Do I know him?
- No, but he won't be any trouble. I promise.
- Certainly, Erik. You are always welcome, and your friend is too.
I will prepare a room and a meal, alright?
- Wonderful. Thank you so much, Charles. You are always there for
- But of course, Erik. I love you.
- And I you. Thank you one more time. I have to stop. Bye, Charles.
- Goodbye, darling.
They ended the conversation there. Erik turned to Hannibal Lecter.
- He said yes. We are going there.
- Does he know who I am?
- Not yet.
- Would I be welcome if he did? doctor Lecter asked.
- Don't you worry now. He will help you.
- Tell me something...your friend here...is he your lover?
- How could you kn--- Is it that obvious? Erik asked in surprise.
- Eh, no, I just happened to hear he called you "darling".
Doctor Lecter couldn't help laughing. Erik was certainly
but he laughed too.
- So you eavesdropped? Don't you know that is unethical?
- I overheard. That is not the same as eavesdropping. And I do have
a good hearing. And a keen sense of smell. What is there to do about
- It doesn't matter. But you're right. Charles is my lover.
- That's alright, Erik. I have nothing against
In fact many of the most intelligent men of all time were homosexual.
Leonardo DaVinci, Oscar Wilde...
- Leonardo DaVinci was gay? Magneto wondered. I did not know...
- So they said. Do you love Charles?
- More than any words can express.
- Is he also...a mutant?
- Does he possess "gifts"?
Erik smiled. - Indeed.
- You'll see. Let me give you some advice. Do not lie to him.
know. Trust me.