#ShortStory – Valentine’s Special “Love Will Tear Us Apart”

Love Will Tear Us Apart

The air was bitterly cold and the winds violently crashed against her cheeks, tears frozen almost instantly as they touched her skin. Both her hands placed to the ground, the earth trembling under her dirt ridden fingertips. Her head bowed, her knees bent to submission. Her heart beat wildly, as the fateful hour approached.

Scarlet Witch was waiting for this moment as Vision rose above her like a giant. He placed his hand on his hip, his fingertips touching the handle to the laser gun in the holster.

Now and again her heart would skip a beat. The adrenaline rushed through her veins, as every minute that passed drew her closer to this moment. The world as she knew it was burning to ashes around her, the result of the final war of the races; Humans versus Androids. She drew up a fistful of soil, raising her tearful face until her eyes met his. Like an hourglass, releasing the sands of time, each grain fell through the grooves in her fingertips.

“It’s time”, Scarlet Witch cried, “do it!”

“I can’t”, Vision stood over her as his quivering and troubled voice released into a piercing trill and his hand shook with unnatural violence.

For her this was their destiny. She knew their love had meant something. With every breath she took moments of their life together flashed before her eyes as vivid as crystal clear pure reflections in the glass surface of water. 

The Avengers Compound acted as the backdrop to their world-wind romance. Little did she expect that her prison of hell would become her safe haven. As she sat in her quarters behind the bullet-proof glass gazing out to the breathtaking view of vast forest and natural greenery, she felt a gaping pit in the depths of her stomach as intense guilt raged inside her, chipping away at her mental wall of peace and quiet. Killing 11 humans was certainly not on the agenda, and what’s worse she turned humankind against her mutant race. As if the blatant discrimination and fury of human scaremongers against her kind were not enough, now this? She couldn’t bare being the reason for the mutant demise. The humans were right. She needed to pay for her atrocity.

And yet here she was being protected and sheltered instead of being called to justice. After all, was the point of being an Avenger not to safeguard the earth from evil?

Vision appeared like a ghost through the plaster-wall.

“Vision, seriously. We talked about this! Use the damn door next time yes?”, hissed Scarlet Witch.

Bemused Vision raised his arm to point at the door, “I am sorry, the door was open and I assumed you were accepting guests”.

She tutted and smiled, “yes, through the door, not the wall, please!”

She couldn’t ever feel angry at him. How could she?

In fact, the first time she set eyes on this newly formed perfect specimen, she recalled the flaring animal desire that grew inside her breast. She didn’t know why but for her it was like love at first sight. No mutant or human ever caught the desires of Scarlet Witch that easily. Love was never part of her DNA structure. The genius of Stark Industries, the brilliant fusion of science and mechanical engineering resulted in the creation of an android of epic proportions. And epic was the only way to go for Scarlet. She always had a tendency to reach beyond the boundaries of logic. And it certainly was never logic that made her fond of him.

Her desire for him became cemented like an engraving into stone when she first grieved the loss of Pietro, her twin brother who went missing a few years prior. There is nothing like grief to bring two people – or in their case two species together. The pain of losing her brother was unbearable. Even time couldn’t heal the stabbing agony she felt, like a knife turning in her heart. Her only brother. How could she bear the torture of his loss any longer?

As she recalled the past a flare of grief fluttered inside her.

Yet, she also recalled that in her darkest moment a seed flourished. The beginning of an undying love between her and Vision.

The fond memories recoiled in front of her eyes as real as a visual projection of a hologram.

“I have learnt so much about feelings that I never thought I could”, Vision whispered to her. He had experienced something so profound that he could never imagine as an android – a man made machine. Feelings to him were alien, unfound in the realm of logic. But somehow, Scarlet Witch had touched him in a way that taught him how to feel.

He approached her, placing his hand gently on her shoulder.

“Oh Vision, I can’t bare it!”

He couldn’t understand her pain, her grief, or her suffering. But he could see it. Seeing her unhappy, unable to function, uncontrollable in this way made him want to help her, want to hold her, want to see her smile. His desire to help her was enough to teach him the profound meaning of the word “feelings”. To teach him about love.

He held her in his arms and for the first time felt the warmth of her blood against his cold exterior. That was the moment her love for him was set in stone.

Yet, she found herself tip-toeing around him. Not sure of his intentions. Could an android really feel like a human feels? She loved him, though she wasn’t convinced of his intentions. A strong, independent, fierce woman like Scarlet Witch would never let any man reject her or deceive her. She was born to be worshipped and would not accept any less. She certainly would not make it easy for this android, if she could help it.

As Scarlet Witch sat on the edge of her bed unfolding each delicate memory of their love story, she cringed at the thought that came to pass.

One night they quarreled with such heartfelt intensity, it was beyond destructive. Almost apocalyptic. She always had an infernal temper, and never was one to apologise for it either. What was most surprising was the ability Vision showed for having emotions so intense that went completely against his nature as an android. She sat up most nights – burning from guilt and regret – fabricating alternative outcomes to what could have been. Maybe she was too harsh, or too quick to judge him? No. She needed her space, her time to breath and grow. To find herself.

She emersed herself into work. Convinced she needed time to better herself, to become the woman she wanted to be. The woman she needed to be. Sure, she threw herself into this life of devoted ambition. And came out the other end stronger and better.

But she couldn’t deny the hollow feeling she felt in her heart. Something was missing. And no matter how much she persuaded herself otherwise, this feeling creeped over her like a dark shadow she just couldn’t shake off.

Rehashing strong memories sent a shiver down her spine. She snapped out of her trance-like state finding herself back at the Compound in her confined room.

“What do you want Vision?”, she responded.

“Maybe I should just go. I’ll just… leave through the door this time shall I?”, Vision sensed an air of deflection in Scarlet’s voice.

“No, please stay”, Scarlet Witch stood to meet his eyes face-to-face.

“Scarlet, since our fight I have missed you. For the first time I lived my life without your warmth and found that such a life was far more barren than us together. We fought fiercely, but in only meant that we cared deeply for each other”, he lowered his head embarrassed at the thought, “you remember I told you Mantis offered herself to me…”

Feelings of jealousy rose to the surface as Scarlet Witch felt her cheeks flush. Her temper slowly bubbling beneath the surface.

“I felt no desire to accept her”, he continued, “Scarlet, you are the only woman for me! Forget the human rules!”

It was like an eerie coincidence. As if a ghostly presence was listening in on their conversation. Suddenly, a news flash blared on the TV screen, the presenter making an announcement with a combination of fear and urgency in his voice.

“The Great 8 Nations have declared war! According to our sources Androids have been proclaimed the enemy lead by a man-made machine named, Ultron. We call to arms the Avengers to support our cause and fight for justice to protect the human race. This is the Final War of the Races as we rise, humans and mutants against the danger of androids. We warn all androids: You are the enemy and shall be defeated! We will not rest until every android is destroyed. Martial Law has been declared. Any humans or mutants harboring android fugitives shall be considered enemies of the state in direct conflict with the law and shall be disposed”

“No, that cannot be! I was the one that killed those 11 humans in Wakanda. Not Ultron. And now the world is seeking revenge on all androids?”, Scarlet grabbed hold of Vision realising this could be the only chance she had to proclaim peace between her and her long lost love.

“Scarlet, I love you!”

“And I love you, Vis!”

Silence filled the void in the room as they stood in each other’s embrace.

Before emerging from the protective confounds of the concrete structure that encapsulated them, Scarlet Witch and Vision had taken their final moments together.

This love would tear them apart. Mutant and android had become a forbidden love overnight and there was nothing in their power they could do about it.

Scarlet appeared and stood on the grounds of the Compound. The military had been dispatched sooner than expected.

“We have the android in our custody!”, she exclaimed.

Not a moment passed when an alien life form slammed to the ground from the sky, leaving a plume of sandy debris rising, forging a mist-like cocoon around it.

The trigger-happy military bystanders set off an array of bullets into the massive cloud in the hope that one shot would be fatal.

Vision arose from the sandy ashes untouched, a combination of his superhuman stamina, reflexes, speed, and agility acting as a shield against the martial attack.

“Cease fire!”, Scarlet roared, “only mutant abilities are a match for the destruction of an android!”

Suddenly, an unknown figure sped into view grabbing Scarlet Witch.

“Ultron!”, Vision hadn’t expected this twist of fate. He now had to meet his destiny. Stark Industries built him; the ultimate android that could compete against the supervillain android powers of Ultron.

By manipulating his molecular density Vision prepared himself for transition and flew out of sight.

“Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! Android Enemies have escaped!”, the military crew clamored to salvage their mission to eliminate the androids.

Meanwhile, as Vision took flight rising into the atmosphere, he could make up another flying object following his tracks.

“I created the damn Frankenstein android, he is my responsibility! I am here to help!”, shouted Iron Man. He was racked with guilt and overcome with a duty to rid the world from his mistaken creation.

Vision accelerated, tearing through the skies. He was hot on the tail of Ultron when Falcon came to the rescue rising to the heavens like a winged angel from the opposite direction, crashing into Ultron putting him in a momentary daze enough for Vision to catch up in speed. With an iron first, Iron man took a second blow catching a right hook straight into his jaw.

At the same time Scarlet Witch worked her magic weakening Ultron’s mind rendering him in a state of vertiginous stupor, enough to allow Vision to catch up in time to place a gigantic blow directly into his midriff, blasting the wind out of him.

Ultron released Scarlet Witch from his clutches amidst the frenzy  of attacks, freeing his arms to attack back. As Scarlet was released, Iron Man glided past and grabbed her mid fall. Meanwhile, Ultron took to fisticuffs with Flacon, his villainous strikes damaging one of his opponent’s wings, leading him to skyrocket back to earth.

Captain America saw his friend in dire need and speed fled into place in time to catch Falcon before he could fall to the ground and injure himself irreversibly. Nodding at Hulk who stomped into view, Captain America ran and leaped onto the green giant’s shoulders who catapulted him into the skies. With all his might, he threw his shield like a ferocious disc athlete and watched it slice into Ultron’s backbone before it fell crashing back down to earth.

The injury destabalised Ultron long enough for Scarlet Witch to work her chaos into his mind.

A final push for time came from the mighty Thor. With a thunderous roar he swung the hammer of the thunder god into the sky crashing straight into Ultron’s mechanical skull.

His android brain crushed by the hammer forged by mythical dwarves had lost functionality. With one last assault, Scarlet rose to the occasion releasing a powerful surge of chaos onto Ultron. His brain started burning up, it’s metal structure melting beyond comprehension, until the wires malfunctioned and exploded in a frenzy of electrical sparks flying from every orifice. Vision’ destiny came to pass as he closed in on Ultron vis-à-vis. Vision placed his unnaturally strong arms around his’s smoldering body, crushing him into a pulp. His body gravitated at an exponential speed towards the earth until it viciously pounded the ground, destroyed and battered.

One evil android done.

One android still remaining. It was time for Vision to meet his fate.

Suddenly, a body came crashing through the clouds onto the earth. Scarlet Witch had somehow found herself on her knees, seemingly defeated. Her hands clutching the earth beneath her.

Vision landed at a distance close enough for his feet to be seen in view as she tearfully hung her head down to the ground.

“It’s time”, Scarlet Witch cried, “do it!”

“I can’t”, Vision had almost lost his nerve.

“We agreed. Do it, now!”

Pointing a laser gun at Scarlet Witch, Vision pulled the trigger.

In what seemed a flash in time Scarlet used her reality warping abilities to create an illusion using chaos magic. She deflected the effect of the laser beam attacking and destroying Vision where he stood.

He fell to the ground.

The military retrieved his body along with that of the villain Ultron, which were both placed in a high security distribution vehicle and were sent off to a high security facility to be taken apart and researched.

Scarlet stared into oblivion as they disappeared in the distance, tears streaming down her cheeks.

“We did it”, she heard a familiar voice behind her, touching her hand.

“Yes, my darling, we did it. We fooled them!”, Scarlet Witch swung around and threw her arms around Vision, as their Avenger superhero friends watched and applauded.

It transpired that in fact, with the help of their mutant teammates from the Avenger Compound and to the world’s bemusement the two lovers had hashed out a clever plan that would free them from the confines of human rules!

Scarlet Witch enacted the ultimate magical illusion. The illusion of her lover’s death. And with that, they won their freedom to live out their forbidden love under the radar away from the judgement and piercing gaze of the human world.

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