Disclaimer: I don't own anything… at all… including confidence. I have none and am scared this story will be laughed at or slandered.

PROLOUGE

Max sped up this hill. She had just watched Renfro take a bullet for her and demand she find Sandeman. So many things to process. Joshua had mentioned Sandeman. He had called him father. Max didn't understand that term. Oh sure she knew what it meant but she had never experienced the feeling.

Max stopped when she reached the top and turned back to face her past. It was going up in flames. Manticore burned tonight. This place that haunted her nightmares and her life were going to be ash in the morning. So much destruction was going to end with one final annihilation. One would think it would be the end of her problems but it wasn't. It just sparked another one. This virus with Logan. She had to save him. To get this antigen to him before it was too late. It was Alec's fault. He had just been following orders but if he hadn't helped her escape. Max turned. Time to play hero and save the man she loved.

She could sense people running in the forest. Other transgenics escaping. Some were probably confused and thought that Manticore had been under attack. Max hoped they understood why they were out. Max made a move to begin running up the hill when she saw them.

Robed figures moving out of the dark. They lined the edge of the trees. Max took them all in. If they were Manticore guards they definitely weren't dressed like them. They had large hoods and the sleeves hung low. Max could only see their eyes. They flickered in the light from the fire. She didn't have time for this. Logan was depending on her. She took a fighting stance ready to take on these goons, whoever they were.

They recognised her threatening pose. They reached hands into their robes and drew swords. Max was surrounded by people with long, shiny and very sharp looking swords. Max noticed they weren't just men but women too. They looked like they were about to attack when a robed figure in the centre held up her hand to stop them. The others looked at her and tilted their heads in confusion. She shook her head. She hadn't drawn a sword like the others. She took a step forward and lowered the hood.

The woman in front of Max was young. Younger even then her. She had brown hair, so dark it was almost black. It hung down her back and framed her face. Her green eyes flashed and evaluated the situation. Max and the woman met eyes across the space. No words passed between them. Finally the woman nodded slowly to Max. Max did the same though she didn't quite understand. With a swift hand gesture the robed people disappeared back into the wood, which suddenly was filled with fog.

Max didn't understand what just happened. She didn't have any clue who these people were but the girl had stepped down when she didn't have to and let Max pass. Max shook her head. She didn't need to worry about this right now. She'd think about it after she saved Logan.

"The transgenics all escaped?" The robed woman was wise and bordering on 48. She was a leader. She was talking to the young woman from the forest.

"All of them," The young woman had discarded her long robe and was dressed comfortably in a dress just like the pre-pulse medieval ones.

"You have done well my daughter. When the eyes only broadcast reached my ears I knew immediately what Manticore would do," The older lady walked closer to the young one.

"You are wise mother," The daughter responded keeping her eyes forward.

"And now Manticore will try and eliminate the evidence of their existence," The leader sighed wearily and sat on the ground. She gestured for her daughter to join her. She politely declined and remained upright.

"We must continue to protect them. Amongst them the one will be found," the young woman concluded. The elder nodded.

"But we have other matters to discuss do we not?"

Her daughter lowered herself to the ground wearily and reluctantly agreed, "we do mother."

"You are to be my heir and I feel that time will be soon but first you must accept a consort," The leader tried to be gentle with the girl, "Duke is a worthy man. If I was but a few years younger I would have taking him as my own. I know how you oppose this aspect of your duty but you will make the finest leader. It is your destiny."

"Destiny to know no love?" came the cynical reply.

"What is love in this broken world?" The elder laughed harshly.

"Hope," Her daughter answered softly.

"If you are the matriarch you have to survive without hope! Now will you accept Duke?"

"I will accept Duke," The daughter gave up, "I will be with him on the night of fertility when the lady walks among us."

"Good girl. You know your duty well and will be a great leader."

"If I am excused, I need to follow some transgenics. I met an X5 in the woods this evening and I have a feeling she was one of the 12 that escaped in '09."

The mother nodded and dismissed her daughter. She watched the girl go. She was the youngest of her children and many thought her the least likely candidate to assume her mother's title but the Queen of heaven had shown her a vision and her daughter would rule!

AN: I know it's short but it is a prologue. Just an introductory chappy. Ok everyone's probably wondering about pairings. I love Alec so so much more than Logan but Max loves Logan in the show so she's gonna stay with him (silly silly silly girl she is). This is my first DA fic so if you wanna kindly tell me what I'm doing wrong that's cool. You wanna tell me what I'm doing right that would be exceptionally nice. Just feedback of any kind! I'll update with a longer chapter later. This was set at the very end of 'designate this.' By the by the name Iccult is deliberately spelt wrong. It's a play on occult. All the information about the name and the italic bit will be explained next chapter. Well most of it. Well I'm out! Please review.

MD666