A Family Affair

Chapter 21: Family

Another explosion split the ground open from underneath Brin, she barely had enough time to jump before it collapsed below. The compound was falling apart and she seemed to be the only one noticing. Prager and White were locked in their own battle twenty feet away and Eve was doing her best to wear Brin down.

With the ceilings crumbling, the floor deteriorating, it was only a matter of time before the place went down and they were either killed or buried alive.

That wouldn't happen. At least not yet anyway, she still had a sister to make amends to and a new niece who would soon be making her entrance into the world. As Eve knocked her to the ground she took a quick look around for anything that might help her in the fight.

There.

A glint of silver.

Brin spung up and connected her feet to Eve's face. The clone stumbled back and shook her head, she watched as Brin ran for something. Following her across the room, Eve dodged a heavy cement slab that fell right in front of her.

White and Prager had managed to get each other into choke holds. White managed to break the other Familiar's grip and snap his wrist before dodging out of reach; the crack was barely heard over Cerberus' demise.

"You think I feel that White? It makes no difference what breaks I don't feel it."

White smirked, "Then you definitely won't feel anything once I snap your neck."

"Empty threats."

"Think what you want."

White feinted to Prager's right before grabbing his left arm and twisting it painfully behind his back, "How did they think you could ever replace me?" asked White before he snapped Prager's neck as promised.

After throwing the now dead Familiar aside White heard a yell and looked over to see Eve wrench Brin backwards by the hair and deliver a harsh kick to her lower back before tossing her to the ground.

It was there that White faced a dilemma which should have been obvious for him to solve. Cerberus was collapsing around him with who knows how much time remaining until the oil lines ruptured, his adversary was dead and all that was left was an X5 and an X38. Where was the dilemma? He should leave the genetic disasters to their own fates and get out of the building. He had to live to reclaim Ray, by helping out X5-734 he would be risking his own life unnecessarily. Watching Brin deliver a punch to Eve's face and receiving one right back, he made up his mind.

Brin reeled from Eve's hit. She was being worn down and there was nothing she could do. If only she could get enough time to follow through with her plan. Yet every time she made an attempt to get across the room, Eve was there with seemingly as much energy as she had when they first started fighting. Brin could barely hold that thought as Eve knocked her flat on her back and was at her throat. The X5 barely had enough time to raise a defensive. She was trying to think of a way to get free when Eve was wrenched off of her and thrown a couple metres away.

"You have any plan for this?"

Brin looked up at White, "Yeah, just keep her busy."

"Make it quick," said White moving into a fighting stance as Eve got up and ran towards him. He dodged a few blows before landing one of his own in her stomach which she retaliated with backhanding him across the face and grabbing his throat in a vice grip.

Unbeknownst to Eve, she had let White distract her long enough to allow Brin the time she needed to pick up White's discarded bullet cartridge, and run to the other side of the room, where his gun was a lot easier to find.

She watched White being flung into a wall as she took aim and fired.

>>>

It had been three weeks since the Cerberus incident and Rachel's birth. The young transgenic slept soundly in her mother's arms as she, her father, along with aunt and uncle discussed supply runs.

In the weeks that followed Cerberus, things started to get back to normal. Max was fine, Asha had recovered and was up and about though slightly complaining about being out of action when all of it was going down.

Cerberus was dead and buried in the ruins where it had once stood. The oil, explosions, and fire left them convinced that nothing had survived, no future technologies, no 30-level x-series, or any other experimental surprises. They just hoped that The Conclave hadn't made any back up copies of the information used in Cerberus' creation.

Max had been informed of all that went down while she had been kidnapped. There had been so many surprises that she had never counted on. First of all, was hearing about Brin coming out of her coma. Not only that but fighting side by side with Alec to rescue her. The old Brin was back, the Manticore reprogramming gone.

But where was she?

Alec had told her that the last time he saw Brin was when she took on Eve before he had fallen through the floor.

And that was another thing. Eve. Clone of a bitch from the past/future/whatever. The last time she had been seen was tossing Alec and going after Brin.

The next shocker that Alec had surprised Max with was White. She had suspected something when she had seen him where Prager was holding her; but then she found out about his side switching, The Conclave's attempt on his life, and the deal they had made for her location. She had been a bit angry about the deal, Ray for her and Rachel, just as Alec had thought she would be but listed to her all the reasons why it was for the best.

Though along with Brin and Eve: White was missing and presumed dead as well.

The place where they had been fighting was down far too deep for any chance of a body recovery. Max and the others had hoped that if Brin had survived she would have contacted them. But after 4 days, then a week, and then another week, the chances of that happening got lower. Max hoped that she went to ground and was watching out for her somewhere. Maybe she would take up where Zack left off and keep tabs on the other '09'ers. She had to believe in something, another possibility was that she had sacrificed her life for Max's. The final act of a big sister come back to fight the good fight.

"...Mole said he should be getting shipment around 22:00 hours," said Alec. "And hey speaking of Mole have you noticed anything with Gem and Faith?"

Max shook her head as Asha shrugged; they both shot Alec a dirty look when he inquired about what they thought Gem and Mole's kids might look like.

"Alec, it's their own business, why so much speculation?" said Logan giving Alec 'the look', "and further more..."

"Blah, blah, blah Logan, you know you're sure lucky you have Asha here. I'd hate to see how any of your kids would turn out if it was just you raising them."

"That's future kids," corrected Asha.

"We could start sooner..." said Logan quietly to himself as the three transgenics ignored him.

"Hey Max, think you're ever gonna want a son?"

"I'll think maybe we'll try raising our daughter right now."

"But Logan gets a son..."

"What's wrong with a daughter?"

"Nothing, nothing, you know I love Rachel more than life itself. But you know...more kids someday...maybe? We could make our baby girl a big sister." He gave Max a smile and a wink which made her laugh.

"This really is a family," said Logan.

"And you're stuck with us," said Asha. He smiled and was just about to reply when the phone rang.

"Hold on a sec," said Logan answering it, "Hello? Who...Rebecca? What? Woah, hold on, slow down, what's wrong?"

The others looked over to Logan, who was looking confused and worried, as the woman on the other end frantically recalled what had happened.

"Logan, who is it?" asked Alec.

Logan put his hand over the receiver, "It's Wendy's sister; Ray didn't come home from school."

"What do you mean he didn't get home?"

"Wait, Rebecca hold on..." said Logan before turning to Alec, "That just what I said, he didn't get home. His aunt's frantic."

"Well how long's he been missing for?" asked Alec.

"I don't know I..." Logan was interrupted by Rebecca's cries and then a loud beep in his office, a few seconds later the tell-tale print off of his fax machine started up. Asha, Max, and Alec were right behind him in his office as Logan multi-tasked by trying to calm Rebecca down about her missing nephew, grabbing the fax and reading; his eyes growing wider after each sentence as what happened to Ray became clear.

"What's going on?" demanded Max.

"Rebecca, I need you to listen to me," said Logan giving the paper to Max who took it in one hand and gave Rachel to Alec. She started reading as Alec and Asha read over her shoulder. Soon all sounds including Logan's attempts at calming Rebecca were drowned out:

Cale,

I believe we had a deal regarding 'Alec' and his missing family. My son for them remember? As you know by now I am alive and well, and also with my son. This is the last time you will ever hear from me. You people are far too much stress than you're worth.
You're probably also wondering how I found Ray, seeing as how you weren't going to tell me his location until after 'Max' and her child were safe. You really should'vebeen watchingwhat I was doing on your computer more closely.
Thanks for his location.

-A. White

>>>

White smiled as he looked up at the dark sky from his new front porch. It had been a week since he had sent a fax to Seattle and was pleased to see that they were holding up their end of the bargain. He helped them find 452, he survived, he got Ray; and for as long as White would live he would never forget the look on his son's face when he showed up at his school. It was one of pure elation and the realization that his father was back and wasn't leaving any time soon. For the first time in four years, life was good.

No more Conclave, no more orders, no more of their agendas. Everything he had been taught, all that he had grown up with, it had all deteriorated over the course of the year. After the appearance of a possible version of Ray's future, and then the knowledge of what his true agenda to the past had been. His beliefs wavered and then fell with the Conclave's betrayal; though the most surprising thing about all of it was how little White found himself caring. The Conclave could go to hell and he had no regrets about them losing Cerberus. Hopefullywith its destruction, they had stopped that future from coming to pass, or if it was still coming that the transgenics could take care of it.
He was done.

He was finally free to do what he wanted without anyone looking over his shoulder or questioning his motives.

He decided that he would take the bar exam and become the lawyer he studied to be. With money, new connections, and a new name, he would disappear from the Conclave's sight just as his father before him. Though unlike his father, he would have his son with him.

Ray would have the best possible future White could provide for him. Away from the Conclave, away from the transgenic rebellions, away from it all. White would see to it that his son grew up in peace with a father who was willing to do anything for him. To protect his future.
With Ray now safely asleep upstairs in his new room, White could finally relax.

"So deep in thought, I was wondering whether or not to interrupt."

White looked to his left as an asian woman came up the front steps.

"How'd it go?"

"I found Zane," said Brin, "We'll be heading back to Seattle in a few days."

"You didn't get word to her did you? Let her know you're alive?"

"Nope, figured I'd surprise her when I was ready."

"And now you have a brother to bring back as well."

"Small world."

"And new. Did you know that you're the first transgenic I've ever been on good terms with?"

"People change...and switch sides a lot."

"Best decision I ever made."

"I'm just glad my memories came back to me."

"And now you have a family to get back to."

"I do. But yeah, I just came down to let you know we're going," said Brin. "And thanks for everything."

White nodded, "If they ever need anything, you know where I am."

"Yeah." Brin offered her hand which White shook, before she headed off the porch and disappeared into the night.

'The enemy of my enemy is my friend after all. My father created all of you, so in some strange, sick way I guess that makes us family.'

And with those thoughts, White headed into the house and closed out the warm Australian night.

END

>>>

A/N: FINISHED! I have finally completed this story, it's done! White and Brin made it out of Cerberus, Ray was hunted down, and the story draws to a close;)

Whether there's anymore to the series I don't know, I find myself fallingout ofthe Dark Angel fandom, and unable to get into it anymore. Maybe it will rekindle but until then.

Thanks to everyone who reviewed this fic, I write for all of you! You guys are the greatest thanks so much for the reviews, the question, and your comments. They all contribute to my will to complete a story. Thanks so much!!!

Peace Out, and Happy Holidays!

-v