We're going to make a break for it. We should all get away. Why not?

Yeah. We're going to get away and into the City. It might even be a relief. I won't have to wear hooded sweatshirts and concealing makeup all the time around the other transgenics. Some from my group might even be there.

And we've got Gem, and the kid. We have to make a break for it.

"They don't know about me," I volunteer.

Original Cindy beckons me over. "Then help me protect my girl."

Dutifully, I put my arm around Max's shoulders. We went on a few runs together, did you know that? We didn't talk much, but I knew she was one of us.

Cindy knew. She saw my barcode one day at the lockers. I'd been out all night and was off my guard, rubbing my neck and groaning.

"You hurt, CeCe? Let me see that, boo," she said, and before I knew it she was behind me.

"Oh, I... no," I blustered, and trailed off.

She'd seen my barcode. An Ordinary saw it. Oh, I was in deep trouble. I was terrified, but she was cool about it. She just gave me a smile and went about her business. No running. No screaming. No accusations. That's why I lean toward her, I guess. Something deep down knew she was a good person.

"All right, let's file in, guys. Come on." Max looks around, making sure we're protected.

A pause. Uneasiness hangs in the air. A few soft comments. Then-

"Let's do this."

Why did this have to happen to me? OK, I like a little excitement. Who doesn't? But a hostage situation? My God.

We begin to walk out slowly.

It's going to be OK. I'm going to live.

I have to live. I'm in... in- infatuated, did you know that? Not many people do. Just me, actually.

He was my breeding partner. I never got pregnant, but I'm sort of glad. A baby would have made it too real, too serious. Almost none of the other X5s had actual feelings for their breeding partners. It was a complete chore for most of them. 600 and 657, well, they were in love since God knows when. When they got the chance, they'd sit on 657's bed as children, in the dormitory. Just sit, and talk. I think they were close because they were the oldest boy and girl. We used to tease them mercilessly about those nights.

When we got our own rooms they still weren't deterred. They took turns sneaking into each other's rooms at nights. While the rest of us couldn't help getting idle teenage crushes on our group members, the two of them were for life.

I envied them secretly. It was never a chore or a facade for the two of them. I don't think I ever grew out of my teenage crushes.

So I have to live, you see.


What the...?

Max panics. "Go!" she screams out.

We all turn around and start running again. Then-

I'm hit. The bullet thuds into my chest and Max drops me as it separates my ribs and lodges in my heart.

I'm gasping, tears filling my eyes. Everything is going strangely slowly. The crowd waving banners, the transgenics and hostages running inside. I think, am I going to fall yet?

"Get back!"

I'm alone. More gunshots. A wave of pain rolls through my body, bubbling blackness surging up my throat and through my limbs, rendering them forever useless.

Oh, God no. No. I have to live!

Why am I praying to God? God didn't make me. Apparently I'm an insult to God.

Strong hands pulling me along the floor. My legs flop uselessly. Shit, I can't feel my legs.

"Move! Move! Move! Move!"

Shut up, Max. I'm trying to move. Can't you see me trying to move?

My enhanced vision is going haywire, zooming in on the lights and blinding me, making me think I'm soaring up toward the ceiling.

Am I?

Is she still yelling? I can't hear. But no, I'm not dying. I can't be.

Calm down, CeCe. Think of what they did for you as a child. So you'd be prepared to die. So you wouldn't cry, and want comfort. So you'd just lie in the smoking ruins of the battleground and watch the ones still standing disappear into the mist, like a good soldier. So you wouldn't beg them to love you, to remember you, to take you with them and prolong your senseless life. So they wouldn't weep over you, or even consider complying to your miserable demands.

How they made you watch tapes of riots and massacres in class until you were half-asleep and didn't even care any more. How they sent you into the woods carrying knives. 'Kill the man,' they told you. Remember? You had blood all over. On your hands, on your clothes, on your lips and no matter how many times you washed those shirts, every time you smelled them to look for the soap scent there was the blood scent? 'Kill him. Cut off a limb, and bring it back to prove you completed the objective. He doesn't matter. You can do it, so do. That's not a request, that's an order. Go!'

He didn't matter.

I wonder on the crowd. 'Kill the transgenics!' they probably told the snipers. 'Take them out. It's for the good of the country.'

I MATTER. I want to live.

My eyes slide firmly shut.

Be a good soldier, CeCe. Lie still and die.


No, I'm not being a good soldier any more! I don't want to! I was getting out, and... and...

It's black. It's silent.

"Fall back! Cover the door! Anyone else hit?"

I'm imagining it.


They're not talking still.

Save me.

My mouth is frozen in a permanent twist of anguish.


Nothing. The last drops of consciousness slip through my grasp, and-

"They killed her." That's Cindy.

Am I dead?

'They killed her.'

Yeah, OK.

'They don't know about me.'

They didn't. Still don't. No-one'll ever know about me. 'Cept maybe the people at the morgue.

'They killed her.'

I'm... not dead. I'm- sleeping. A dreamless sleep. I'm not dead. I'm NOT.

'Get back!'

I tripped. I was dragged backward in the rush. That was how the bullet hit me. It hurt so much. What about now, does it hurt now? No... it- doesn't.

'They killed her.'

No- yes. I don't know. Yes.

'Move! Move! Move! Move!'

Don't- don't you think I'm... trying to? To escape the bubbling blackness.

'They killed her.'

Am I? Am I dead like the convicts who didn't matter, like the people in the riots who made me


Yes. I am.

* * *

DISCLAIMER: 'Dark Angel' belongs to James Cameron and Fox. Not me. So don't sue.

NOTE: I'm numb. I saw 'Freak Nation' for the first time on the second of January, and... my God, there's no more 'Dark Angel'. No more. I cried at the end. But isn't it weird to believe that Max, who's come so far, is the same little girl we saw in the first moments of the pilot? Well, not literally, but you know what I mean. And we don't ever get to find out what happens to her. This is an example of the Powers That Be at their most unfair.

On the other hand, I saw 'Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers' today. Bloody awesome movie, that.