Disclaimer: Dark Angel and all of its affiliations belong to Cameron/Eglee productions and Fox entertainment…who so wrongly chose to take it off the air…what were they thinking?

Rating: PG-13 for language and violence

Time-frame: post AJBAC

A/N: Hey everybody, I know this has been done before, a million times over.  But I couldn't just let it go.  Writing now gives me ideas for other stories, so if I didn't write, I'd never get any other ideas…see where I'm goin?  Anyway, please review.  Doesn't take too long.  M/A people, there is no Alec bashing.  I don't believe in that kinda stuff.  So I'd appreciate it if no one gave me bad reviews based solely on the fact that this story is M/L.  That being said, onward with the story!

Chapter 1

The Hell Begins…

Lydecker snatched a patch of dark hair, and pulled the girl's head in his direction.  Her eyes had glazed over long ago.  He wondered if she could even hear him anymore.

"Listen to me 452," he began in a low voice.  "We know you know where Eyes Only is.  Tell us, and this will all be over."  She didn't respond.  Lydecker stepped back and nodded softly to one of the soldiers, who stepped forward, and rammed the back of his rifle into her abdomen.  She groaned, attempting to double over in pain, but the shackles cutting into her wrists prevented her from doing so.

The colonel held out his hand to stop the soldier, and approached her, tilting her head towards him.

"Ready to talk?"

She finally brought her eyes up to look him in the face.  "Go to hell," she whispered hoarsely, before summoning all her strength and spitting in his face.

For a fleeting moment, he thought he saw what might have been a tear in the corner of her eyes, but as quickly as it had come, it receded, and once again, her eyes retained the glazed look.

He sighed, wiping his face with a cloth from his pocket.  "Let's go.  We aren't getting anything out of her today.  We'll try again tomorrow."  He dismissed the two men in fatigues who stood before him, and then left the cell, stopping to turn and look at her for a moment.

"Hang in there, Max," he whispered in a barely audible voice, knowing that she would be able to hear.  "I'll get you out, I promise."  With that, he closed the door softly, and stood with his back to it.


Logan stood at the window, staring out at the city below him.  Soft rain pelted the glass.  Everyday, he stood there, watching, waiting…he wasn't sure what it was exactly that he was waiting for, but he knew it was coming soon.

A short while ago, in his quest to take down Manticore, he had come across a geneticist who had left Manticore when the labs blew.  A nice young doctor, whom he had trouble believing had anything to do with Manticore.  He was lucky to have found her at all; she was on the run.  He set her up with some money, a new ID, and guaranteed her safety into Canada, and she in return had gotten her hands on new nanotechnology from a friend of hers that she kept close contact with.  After being confined to a wheelchair for a little over a year, it had taken only a day for the nanocytes to reconstruct his damaged spinal cord.  So he was up and walking again.  He had to admit, he was glad for that.

His thoughts drifted to Max.  It had been two months, one week, six days, five hours and seven minutes since he had last held her, but who was counting?  Every time he thought of her, his heart ripped in two.  Regrets that used to be in the back of his mind, now stood out in front, incessantly scolding him for chances missed and time wasted.

He remembered everything about her.  Her smile…sometimes a smirk, sometimes soft and barely there, but always sweet and genuine.  It was in rare times like those that his heart skipped a beat.  Her eyes…those beautiful chocolate browns, sometimes bright and happy, sometimes dark and mysterious, but always full of life.  He was lost instantly when he looked into them, and every thought in his head was immediately overtaken by her.  Her smell…sometimes like cherries and cream, sometimes like the peach shampoo he had bought her for Christmas, but always intoxicating.  In the recent months before her death, she had started leaving stuff at his place.  She had two drawers of clothes in his room, for those occasions that it was too late to go home, and she would crash in his guest room.  At times, Logan found himself pulling out one of her shirts, just to breathe in her scent; or to try to remember the last time he had seen her wearing it.

Logan had thought that his life was over and done with when Sam told him that he would never walk again, but he had been proven very wrong.  Losing Max was worse, far worse.  His palm rose to the window, as his thoughts drifted back to the rain…it was as if the sky was crying.  And though he had no tears left, in his heart, Logan cried too.


Lydecker paced in front of the small cell door in the corner of the basement at Manticore. 

He looked up as he heard footsteps in the distance, and the short-haired, blonde woman approached him with an air of superiority.

"Making any progress?" she asked, though she already knew the answer.

Lydecker drew a sharp breath.  "Like I told you from the beginning, this is no easy task.  It takes time."

"I've given you six and half weeks.  This is what you trained them for, Deck," she spat at him.  "To stand and spit in the face of opposition; to resist against torture; to guard their secrets with their lives.  452 knows where Eyes Only is, that's her secret.  No amount of physical exploitation or psychoactive drugs is going to get it out of her.  You know as well as I do, that your kids would die before giving up a secret.  You taught them to be that way.  So if you have to nearly kill her to get it out, do it.  You have the key to the secret, Deck.  Unlock it, or the Committee won't be the only ones that have your ass."  She shot daggers at him with her eyes, before turning on her heel, and striding off down the hall.  The sounds of her pumps clicking against the floor echoed off the stone walls.

The older man looked after her.  His hate for her was a flaring passion, burning its way through his very being.  He had come to the conclusion a long time ago that Manticore needed to be taken down.  What had once been a voyage to a vision was now a pathway to perversion.  Lydecker had worked too hard and too long making Manticore into what it was, and he would be damned if he was going to let that dictatorial bitch take it over and lead it straight to hell.  Even if that meant destroying the whole program from the inside out.

He turned for a moment to look through the small barred window in the steel door.  The girl stood, well hung really, in the middle of the cell.  Her wrists suspended from the ceiling by wrought iron chains, her head hung low, her hair a tangled mess, and her clothes tattered and torn.  The Colonel could only silently reprimand himself…My God, what have I done?


Max's wrists were killing her.  They had hung her from iron chains dangling from the ceiling.  And she was pretty sure that one of them was dislocated form her constant attempts to break free.  Her feet barely skimmed the floor, which caused her to sway a little, putting more and more weight on the bands around her joints.

Manticore had finally gotten its hands on her.  Worse even, they knew she knew who Eyes Only was, and for some reason, they wanted the information from her.  As far as Max knew, Eyes Only had never caused any real trouble for Manticore.  Except for the time after Zack's escape when he warned her siblings about their exposure, Logan had never really done any hacks on them.  And even that had been back when Lydecker was in charge.  Now that Renfro bitch was running the show.  He must have really become a pain in their ass lately for them to want him this badly. And if she ever got out, she was going to make sure she gave him Hell and high water for it.

She knew something was up when Lydecker walked into her cell.  Back then, they had started with psychoactive drugs.  Max remembered flinching at the long needles that they forced into her veins.  She also remembered floaty feelings…almost dreamlike…Logan was there.  They were dancing, or having dinner, or just sitting and talking.  But eventually, the topic always turned to Eyes Only.  Logan began to ask her questions about him.  Who was he?  Where did he live?  Was she close to him?  Max had always wanted to answer him.  She never wanted to deny him anything ever again.  But a small rational voice in the back of her head reminded her that Logan was Eyes Only.  He wouldn't be asking her questions about him.  It was then that she realized that Manticore was behind it all.  When they realized that they weren't going to get anything out of her, even by psychological means, they had turned to physical torture.

She didn't know how long she had been hanging there.  Days?  Weeks?  The stiffness in her arms had become nearly unbearable, and at times, she wanted to give in and just tell them everything they wanted to know.  But then she thought about Logan…

Logan, the man who had turned her life around.  He had shown her what it truly was to be human, and helped her become one in the process.  Even as she hung there, in deep physical and mental pain, she remembered everything about him.  His smile…sometimes forced, sometimes sexy and inviting, but always broad and charming.  All he had to do was shoot one her way, and she was instantly weak in the knees.  His eyes…those gorgeous baby blues, sometimes vivid and charismatic, sometimes torn and lost, but always brilliantly shining.  If eyes were windows to the soul, then Logan's was some huge labyrinth, because Max was both dazzled and entranced every time she looked into them.  His scent…sometimes like the rain clean detergent he used, sometimes like the cinnamon aftershave she'd bought him for Christmas, but always breath-taking.  Every now and then, though he didn't know it, Max would sneak into his home when he wasn't there.  Then she'd sit on his bed, holding his pillow, breathing in deeply, simply to be lost in his smell, remembering everything they had been through.  She also liked wearing his clothes when she got out of the shower.  She'd give anything for one of his over-sized t-shirts right now…

Max had thought that her entire existence had come to a screeching halt when that bullet shattered her right ventricle, but she was proven very wrong.  Not being with Logan was worse, far worse.  She swore that if she ever got out of this hellhole, things would be different.  She thought back to the day they had almost gotten somewhere, before Zack had interrupted them, and this whole nightmare had begun.  She chided herself for not having given in, and gotten that last kiss, for not having over-talked him, and said all she wanted to say.  If she had, maybe now, she wouldn't feel so lost.  She wondered briefly what he was doing right then.  Knowing him, he was probably sitting in his chair, staring out the window…and with Seattle's record, it was probably raining.  Rain…although she would be the last to admit it, Max missed the rain.  It was only when the small freedoms were taken away do people really began to count their blessings.  Max hadn't been outside since she had gotten there.  Rain…at times, it made everything seem fresher, newer.  At other times, it was dark and dreary, almost as if the heavens were crying.  And though she wouldn't allow herself the tears to do it, in her heart, Max cried too.


A/N2: Ok, there's the start.  I know, the idea's been done, but my muse wouldn't let this one go.  So we'll see where it goes.  Reviews…maybe, possibly?