-by Syrai-

Disclaimer: The same old babble. Dark Angel isn't mine. The characters of the show aren't mine. They're the respected property of FOX, Mutant Enemy, James Cameron and all the other crazy people that have come up with this junk. Respected junk. Angel? All mine. Trini? All mine. All the other original characters in the show you've never heard of? Guess what? Mine.

"They designed her to be the perfect soldier, a human weapon. Then she escaped. In a future not far from now, in a broken world she is haunted by her past. She cannot run; she must fight to discover her destiny"

Chapter one: Prologue

I am X5-453. That is my designation. Or at least it was my designation; the one thing that defined me, who and what I am. Now it doesn't matter anymore - nothing really does. Why? Simple, because this is a totally different world that I live in now.

My barcode was 332960073453. Actually I still have a barcode, I just keep forgetting it from time to time, although I still know it's never gonna change. I'll always have it. I guess prayers aren't always answered.

Her barcode is 332960073452. Of course it's not much different than mine 'cause like me; she's an X5 too, but most of the people know her as Max. Not as 452 but as Max Guevara. Either way she's one of those rebel ones who ran away in 2009 and that's one of the reasons why I dislike her so deeply though I think I could come up with more. The fact is that she just gave up and left without thinking what it might do to those who stayed. Of course that's only how I see it.

I am – we both are part of a top-secret project named Manticore. Manticore's purpose was, and I guess still is, to make gene manipulated soldiers, perfect human beings. Human weapons, you could say. Those soldiers were designated to be perfect in any possible way you can think of. Manticore made them to defend this country or that's what they said but what they were really doing was the Government's dirty work. It took a long time before I understood what there was behind the curtains. Manticore just wanted to destroy everything that stood in their way by using those soldiers who believed they were meant to do something big, something important. Something good! Those soldiers wanted so badly to believe, that all those things they had to do, they did for humankind.

But no.

Now I know that they were fighting for the wrong people; but how could they have known then? Manticore just created a new race of soldiers so they could someday rule the world. Not a big plan, huh? What can I say? Human beings are greedy; it's their nature.

And I - I am one of those soldiers but I'm not so perfect as I should be, not as perfect as I want to be or as perfect as She with no doubt is. That is the famous luck of mine! Something in me, in my genes, is different, wrong and even though I've been through thousands of exams nobody really knows what. Maybe I'm some kind of trash bin and I ended up with all of her bad genes, go figure. But what I do know is that I'm not the only one facing this problem, and I feel guilty for being alive, because unlike her, I do care what happens to my family. To the ones' who are like me...

There are in fact hundreds of creatures like me and some of them have even bigger problems than I ever will. I at least look normal, unlike many others. While we were back inside the Manticore the way we looked didn't really matter, it' was all about our genes. We had to live in those laboratories underground and those who didn't live underground, they were isolated from the others in some other way. They were better than us so we didn't have any rights to be near them - breathing the same air was a crime for itself. That is one hell of a way to level down your self-respect, I can say that.

Yeah, we were transgenics like them but so what? We were failures and that was all that mattered.

As I said, we didn't fit in at Manticore; not the way we wanted. Just because of our bad genes, and yet we didn't get permission to adjust into the real world. Into the world around us. I guess we were the one risk Manticore couldn't take.

Then she came into the picture. Again.

In the end it doesn't matter what others say or think – to me she has never been a savior. Pain in the ass would be more describable from my point of view. I don't usually feel sorry for myself, or at least I didn't used to, but I guess the world has gotten to me too. I just have to keep thinking that what's gonna come, comes, it's not a big deal. I learned that from Ben and I try not to look back or regret the things I've done, even though maybe I should.

But still I can't make myself stop hating her. I have felt too much pain because of her reckless character and the fact that she practically burnt Manticore down and "saved" us doesn't make it any better. On top of all that she probably did it all out of guilt, out of pity. And I definitely don't want her pity.

Zack could never see things through my eyes and how could he have? He left with her in 2009; and in fact, he was the one who suggested running away. Shouldn't I hate him? For a while I did but he saved us with Krit and Syl. They stayed by my side after all I did and it was the one thing I needed at that moment. Some one to trust - Safety.

From the beginning it was more than obvious that Zack had had feelings for 452, for Max. I could see it every single time he looked at me. Sorrow, happiness, pain, love. I could see it all in his eyes and even though he tried real hard to hide it from me, he just couldn't. Max had taken everything away from him, but I know he still kept loving her. He wasn't even able to remember his past; not until he got to know me and still his feelings were there.

The only thing he ever said to me about her was that she had done a big, and he meant a BIG favor by saving us. Yeah right. Zack only saw what he wanted to see, nothing else and nothing more. Can I blame him? I guess not. Okay, and so what if he was right. I mean who knows; maybe she really did save us from the "dark future that was heading toward us." Maybe she did save us in a certain way, but nothing - NOTHING can change the fact that during my miserable life she was on the outside, living the dream of everyone in there, living the life that should've been mine! The worst part I can think of is that it wasn't only me who had to deal with the consequences of THEIR escape. We all, especially the twins of the escapees had to survive six or even seven months in psy-ops which believe me, is the best way to defeat your enemy. We all had to pass many difficult tests and some of us did - some of us didn't. We accepted it with no arguments. It was our daily life, and at the time we didn't see anything wrong with it. Besides, even if we had seen, there was absolutely nothing we could've done.

So how can I feel anything else than deep hate when it comes to her? Don't get me totally wrong; I'm grateful to her for showing the others the truth that was hidden from us for years. But she could've done it differently. I mean a lot differently.

I don't know if I can ever forget that she left me there, a long time ago. If I knew about her, she had to know about me, right?

Well, who cares about her? Now I'm a soldier – the one I should have been from the beginning. Soldier with no feelings what-so-ever. But I guess sometimes it's too hard to be a soldier, and then I just have to pretend to be one. That's the only way to survive in here.

The question is, will I ever find this inner peace everybody is always babbling about? Don't know. All I wanna do is close my eyes, lie down, take a deep breath and dream about this life that I once had. It was there, right in front of my very eyes, but I refused to see it. And when I came to understand it, I was already too deep in the shit, too scared about what was about to happen. Ordinary life is no longer an option for me and hopefully not to them either. Was it ever an option?

Well, now that it's all gone, I can see everything more than clearly. I just have to deal with the life I have now. Going forward from this point is hard, but it's something we all have to do no matter how it hurts.

And believe me when I say, it hurts like hell. But I'll keep moving, 'cause hey - up is the only way I can go from here.